As I played a game of Words With Friends with my oldest nephew J..and he was giving me a run for my money..I had a flashback. Caught up in the moment, I was suddenly transported to 1977. I was playing a game of 'Tic Tac Toe,' with my nephew and he was all of five years old.
"This is my favorite game, too," I said to the smiling face in front of me. Not having any children of my own, I would practice my parenting skills on my little nephew. J was a delight. I adored him. Once again, he lifted his little red crayon and drew a straight line across the three X's and shouted.."I won!"
"You sure did," I responded. Then we would play another 20 times, and he would win each time. I don't want to claim that it was because of me, that he has confidence today..but if you look at it closely..allowing your child/nephew to win at 'Tic Tac Toe' does help their self esteem. We kept a tally of our wins. J had 15 wins, and Auntie had 5.
I resumed my challenge and entered the word "ditz," attaining 42 points; triple word score. I smiled, knowing that in his Manhattan apartment, my grown nephew J was now grinning and most likely thinking.."Not bad, Aunt Krissy."
It was raining; a perfect day for Checkers. We sat at the kitchen table, pulled the checkered board out of the paper box, and quickly decided who would be RED, and how many game we would play. J wanted to be RED. No problemo. We set up our own side of the board and began our game. At the age of 8, he was in jeans and in his "He-Man" tee shirt. Winning was a little harder. I allowed him to 'jump' the additional man, if he did not see the move. But, most of the time, he did. I played a good game..winning about half the time. He didn't mind, losing to me..because he loved playing 'games' and so did I.
Through our cyberspace connection, he hits me with "xylem" on a double word score plus the x was sitting on a triple letter space. Oy! He's killing me! I am so proud of him. I always have been [proud of him.]
"Wanna play a quick game of Chess, Aunt Krissy?" "What do you mean by quick? Have you been playing against some Russian chess players?" We laughed, and sat across from each other at the same kitchen table, which we had done so many times before. He had grown into a handsome teenager who enjoyed his Dungeons and Dragons, and an occasional game of Chess with his Aunt Krissy. I would like to say that I won most of our games, but the word "checkmate" was more frequently spoken by J, than by me.
Interesting how certain situations, like playing games, magically transports one to a previous time; all we wanted was to instill confidence in our child..or nephew/niece. I no longer "allow" J to win; at any game. When he does..he really does win. My only concern is..does he, now, "allow" his old Aunt Krissy to win? I realize that he knows more words than I..but I have had more experience on the 'playing board' than he [has.] Play On!!! Peace.