I didn’t mean to. It just happened.
We played hard, we played fair, but in the end I just couldn’t lose.
Perhaps it was my impatience; perhaps it was her tiredness, but whatever the reason.
I won, there were tears. And there ended the checker game.
A family ritual we enjoy the nights we’re not rushing out the door to various lessons and practices. The child chooses, the parent happily plays while assessing the emotional strength of the child in that particular moment. Upon assessment, parent wins or loses accordingly, laughter is shared, the stars shine a little brighter and we kiss goodnight the children we happily nurture through the highs and lows of a board game.
On this particular occasion I sensed it was best to lose. There is no rulebook about this, I just knew. Perhaps it was the earlier fight with sibling, or the huff over who got to be red that gave it away, but I like to call it a mother’s intuition.
I fought my ego as I missed genius moves on purpose. Her spirits rose with each jump, her smile broadened, and we were just about to have a hallmark moment until we counted kings and I was ahead by 1.
It’s all such a fine balance. The teaching part, the reality part, the self esteem part, oh, and don’t forget the fun part. It may look like a simple board game to an outsider, but the intricacies are there. Should I point out this? Take away that? Guide, or just let her be? Teach the best way, or watch her learn from her mistakes.
Yes, she will win some, she will lose some. And no, I will not always be her opponent having her best interests in mind. But for now while we play checkers, jumping one another, and finding our way to the other side, my strategy is simple.
Enjoy the game.