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Generation Gap

Thursday, August 13, 2009

When I was a kid, I loved playing cards. With only one sibling and no friends close by, and the sibling sometimes prone to be contrary and NOT want to play with me (or vice versa), I early got the hang of Solitaire, or transforming other games into games that could be played alone. Now, as an adult, I realize that this strengthened my math skills and my sense of independence. (Maybe not my social skills...)

Yesterday afternoon, our van arrived at our property with two of the three kids asleep. Jude and Jabin were snoozing peacefully in their chairs, so Noah came into the trailer with me while I worked, quietly playing with toys for a few minutes, and then deciding on cards. During the spring, the boys had learned several card games--War and Memory being the two favourites. I have tried to teach Noah a basic form of Solitaire, but he has not done it enough to really get the hang of it. No matter--Memory (sometimes called Concentration) can easily be adapted to a single player.

Noah set about ordering his cards into neat, face-down rows. I would check in on him once in a while to see how he was doing. His progress was slow and meticulous, and the rows were neatly marching in line on the living room carpet when he finally began playing. After a while, I asked him how he was doing?

"Good!" he said. "The computer not winning!"

See, now I know why when I was a kid playing against myself it was always kind of boring... Because when you win against yourself, where is the glory in that? It also means that you've lost against yourself too, right?

But beating the computer... especially when you are not used to doing so... now that is really accomplishing something!

Where was my imagination when I needed it most?

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