Friday, July 18, 2008

Losing Game

Ok, it is official I am old. For the first time, my daughter (13) let me win a game. How pathetic is that?

As I mentioned on my Homeschool with Heart blog, my daughter has been going to theater camp. While there, she has learned how to play a card game named “Spit”. Don’t worry I didn’t know what it was either. This was the first hint that I was beginning to edge over the proverbial hill. She begged me to play tonight and I relented. As it was over 90 degrees, we set up the cards in my bedroom. We tried it first directly on the bed, then on a pillow, and finally set up a laundry basket upside down. (This is not the optimum playing area as laundry baskets are slick and move around when placed on the bed, but when it was as hot as it was today, you are willing to sacrifice for relief.)

She started trying to explain the game to me. Of course the first cards she put out had pictures on them and were not marked with the original six hearts or seven spades. Strike one against me. I could barely read the cards: my eyes aren’t what they used to be. I had to insist that we change decks. I should have given up then. She carefully reviewed the rules. It quickly became very apparent that my older reflexes were not up to the contest with a 13 year old who has been playing this game every day for two weeks. She started slowly for me and then it became very apparent that she was giving me clear benefits. She was purposely hitting the wrong pile; she was delaying her play when she saw that I had a move to make. . . She was throwing the game. It was like when she was little and we were playing Candy Land or Chutes and Ladders. She wasn’t overtly loosing. She was carefully controlling her play so that I had every advantage and therefore would begin to win and continue to want to play. This was the ultimate insult to my pride. Even after a couple rounds and learning that I needed to use both hands, I couldn’t overtake her. Her youth was clearly her advantage: her eyesight, her reflexes, her speedy thought processing.

I know it is pathetic to be competitive with a thirteen year old and I wouldn’t care if she beat me, but I really care that I couldn’t beat her. Is this the beginning of the end? When we finished the game, even she admitted it. “Mom, when we play tomorrow, I’m not going to go so easy on you.” I’ll have to let you know how it turns out.

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