I have always loved games. Especially card games. When I would visit my dad as a teenager we would sit around the dining room table and play Skip Bo late into the night with my stepmom and step-grandmother. Lots and lots of laughs were shared around those tables. Looking back now I see it was a way for my dad and stepmom to connect with me and build some type of relationship in very uncertain times.
The only problem with me and games is that I’m super competitive. I want to win. Always. One time David and I were playing a game (I can’t remember which one) with some friends and when I lost I jumped up, yelled no, and fell back into my chair so hard that the chair broke. I still haven’t lived that one down.
Another time we were playing 42 (dominoes) with my mom and her friend. David thought I was being too competitive so he threw the game (jerk). I got so upset at him I threw my last domino at the table and it ricocheted off the table and hit David in the head. I haven’t lived that one down either.
You would think that no one would want to play games with me anymore, but fortunately for me I gave birth to super competitive little girl that loves games just as much as me. I will admit it has been rough. When she first started with Candyland, she would cry every time she didn’t win. Well, cry doesn’t really describe what she did when she would lose. Plus she cheated.
I refused to play with her. I wasn’t going to throw the game just so she could win, and I wasn’t going to listen to her freak out when she lost. David thought was being ridiculous. He played with her and let her win all the time. I thought he was ridiculous. How was she really going to learn how to play if you let her cheat all the time? (And yeah, I totally get how this sounds.)
Now that she is older it has gotten to be a lot more fun to play with her. She understands the strategy of the games, and she’s not such a sore loser. I love to sit across the table from her and see her little face twist up with concentration as she tries to figure out the best move. I even get a little thrill when she makes a particularly brilliant move and blocks me from being able to win.
I never expected that I would enjoy losing, but when she slams that last card down on the table and screams out “Ha!” and I see that beam of joy from the thrill of the win spread across her face I can not ever imagine being more proud. And happy. Just really, really happy. With losing.