Yesterday I sat on the floor playing ‘Snakes and Ladders’ with Sonny.
The first time he landed on a snake he got frustrated and wanted to get up and walk away. I told him the game wasn’t over yet, that he still had a chance to win and if he continued to play, with the next throw of the dice he might just land on a ladder. Even if he didn’t, it didn’t matter; he had to keep on trying right to the very end. He might win, he might lose, but he would never know unless he tried.
Then it dawned on me. Through this simple child’s game I was teaching my son some very important skills: how to deal with the ups and downs of everyday life.
We all land on the odd slippery snake every now and again. The slide down can leave us feeling battered and bruised but we have to hang on in there, carry on believing that there will be a ladder to help us back up. If not, what else is there?
Gosh, that was a bit profound for a Friday afternoon; I don’t know what’s come over me! Think I am just feeling a bit maudlin because my car’s a write-off (see previous post).
You are probably wondering if my son won the game? – of course he did. I thought the lesson on losing could keep for another day.