Get a Clue


                I will probably never win another game of “Clue” again.

                I’m not a very logical thinker when it comes to board games.  I’m not very good at developing strategies.

                I make random guesses, and “hope for the best.”  Which is not a very effective strategy, I can tell you.

                I don’t pay close enough attention, and I’m easily distracted.  I’m like that sweet preschool kid who hasn’t been diagnosed with ADD yet.

                I think it was more luck than anything else that I happened to win Clue, just once.

                Notice I say “happened to win.”  I’m pretty sure it was a lucky roll of the dice that got me to the right room, at the right time.  Nothing more, nothing less.  No groundbreaking detective work or powers of deduction on my part.

                I’ve played this game with my kids about fifty times, and I’ve won once.  But boy, did I revel in that victory.  I may have bragged about it for 24 hours straight.

                I needed to do that because in all honesty, I’m little more than a bystander in that game.

                I’m a prop, occupying space at the table.  A prop that participates, but poses no real threat or competition. 

                However, I was never the parent who lets their kids win.  I believe it’s just as important for kids to learn how to lose as it is to learn how to win.

                With that being said, I wasn’t much competition for my kids when they were little and wanted to play “Memory.”  They’d always win.  Every. Single. Time.  Probably because, well, adult ADD.

                It’s more like “Mom-ADD” though.  I’ll turn over two cards and see an apple and an umbrella.  When I turn them back over, I notice a tuft of dog hair by the couch.  I need to vacuum that, I think, actually the whole downstairs needs a vacuum… next thing you know I’m wondering if I’ve switched the laundry over and who’s driving the carpool to dance… and my kid is looking at me expectantly because he’s already taken his turn and he’s waiting for me to go again.  And I didn’t even see what cards he turned over.  Which is why he has 8 pairs to my 1.

                Now that Youngest Son is nine, he likes to challenge me to more cerebral games, like Mastermind.  (You know, the Code-Maker versus the Code-Breaker?) Once I believe he actually said to me, something like, “I like playing this game with you to see how badly you’ll lose.”

                Thanks, I replied.

                Clearly he’s enjoying me for my stellar company rather than the intellectual challenge.

                Which is fine by me.  Because when we sit down to play a game together, it’s not just about the game for me.  And I think they are coming to realize that too.  Someone will put music on while we pass out cards, and we’ll sing and slap the table together.  “I…I…I…I…I’m…(bomp bomp) hooked on a feeling…”  (The “Guardians of the Galaxy” soundtrack has launched a music appreciation of a whole new decade for my kids.)

                We talk. We laugh. We play.

                I listen. I watch. I love.

                Thank God no one’s tried to teach me Stratego yet.  I’m sure I would embarrass myself.  Or at least provide a good source of entertainment, if short-lived.

                Bananagrams.  That’s my game.  When I can get my family to sit down for that game, watch out.  I show no mercy. And I play to win.


2 thoughts on “Get a Clue

  1. For us, it’s either Monopoly, Train Dominoes or Yahtzee (though the boys also like Risk ~ not me!). Those are the favorites in our home. We all sit around the kitchen table, the TV is off and we just enjoy each other’s company. Like you, we didn’t “let” the kids win. We taught them how to be a part of a team, how to lose gracefully, how to cheer on everyone in the game and how to win with pride and humility at the same time (not always successful, of course ~ it’s a process). So many great conversations and tremendous belly laughs have been born out of those moments. Now, our oldest is off at college….interestingly playing those cerebral type board games with HIS friends…and we’re down to four at our own kitchen table. Hmmm (dramatic pause and sigh)….Yahtzee anyone?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: I Am From | Gretchen L. Mulroy

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