In the past couple of weeks I have had several opportunities to play games with Caroline.
At three and extremely verbal, she has discovered a love for games and so she is either asking us to bring some of ours or dragging some of theirs out or both. Also at age three, she has grasped the general concept of a game without actually embracing the rules, strategy and point of each.
Half the fun for her is setting it up and you have to do it just so or we start over. Every time. She also gives constant commentary and direction. Tells you where the pieces or cards have to go, realigns them if you do it wrong, or takes the whole thing apart and hands it back so you can try again to get it right.
On Tuesday she wanted to play Scrabble. The child can’t read and can’t even identify all the letters, but play we did. I had to turn all the tiles over and put them in rows with the rectangle shapes all in the same direction. This was rather time-consuming as she kept moving them as I tried to put them down.
She also handed me a score sheet, pencil and the “constructions” so I could read how to play the game. Finally we were ready to play and she, of course, went first because she always goes first. She laid three random tiles down asking me to name them because, as we mentioned…child can’t read.
As particular as she had been with the placement of the draw pile, her three letters were not lined up side by side but scattered more in a zig zag. Then she looked into my soul and told me it was my turn.
I had the letters to make the word bait so I put them down on the board in a row, side by side, spelling each letter and then saying the word. She looked at me sympathetically and said we can only use three letters but she would let it go this time.
I decided to get my act together and for the remainder of the game we alternated laying random letters down, helter skelter with me naming them and her grinning victoriously throughout the whole session. At some point she determined the game was over and so we put the items back in the box.
Yesterday she wanted to play memory with our Macaroon set. Once again, setting out the pieces was done with precision and much rearranging to her liking. As we took our turns there were a variety of ways matches were dealt with:
If I made a match I was either greeted with enthusiastic applause, asked to give them to her so she could give them back to me or she would make a sigh and say she had wanted to make that match for me.
Some matches were “Joely’s favorite macaroon” so a special pile of these was set aside in a place of honor for her big brother who had taken a pass on playing the game.
When she would make a match, she would, with equal joy, distribute to my pile, her pile or Joel’s depending on the whim.
Once the game was over she happily put the discs back in the box and grinned like she had just won the lottery despite the fact that no score was taken into account.
I don’t know. She may be three and unable to read and oblivious to what the rules are but the child is most definitely one of the wisest people I encountered this past week.
She knows the point is that we were together and we had fun and the rest of it didn’t really matter.
It’s good to be Caroline, as we say.
Maybe we all could just forget to keep score today and look deep into the eyes of the ones we encounter, cheer them on, enjoy their presence and remember it’s not about winning or losing or even how you played the game. All that really matters is that you did.
Have a blessed weekend. Enjoy your people and remember…you are loved <3