Pulling rank
Monday December 31st 2018, 9:16 pm
Filed under: Family,Life

“Grandma, how old are you?” It sounds like such an innocent question in the moment.

“Well, I just turned 60 a few weeks ago.” (And am trying hard to get used to that. I know in 20 years it’ll sound young but it sure doesn’t right now.)

He invites me to play checkers with him. I find I’m not sure we have the same concept of said game. You jump the other guy’s piece by going over it, you don’t smash it and everything in its path out of your way, I explain, but he is eager to show me that this is how we were going to do it.

“Bumper car checkers?”

“Well, my 69-year-old grandma plays it that way. My other grandma,” he explains.

(I know who Ann is just fine and yeah buddy I don’t think so.) I give him a look that is both skeptical and trying not to burst out laughing at his imagining that he can pull my leg like that, thinking, okay, I had to set your little brother straight on some of the finer points–like how both sides play from the same color squares, not shooting past each other on opposite ones; he picked up on strategy quickly, too, even surprising me with a double jump. King me? I get to be king? Cool! But at eight you are old enough to know better, unless this new Christmas toy is one you haven’t actually played yet, ever, and you don’t want to admit that you don’t know how to do what your brother now knows how to.

He persists. I laugh and tell him I’d been playing checkers a long long time and I’d never heard of playing it that way.

But he’d so clearly been looking forward to his Hulk! Smash! version.

We were going to have jammed fingers, pieces flying into faces or unwitting siblings nearby… Nope. I tell him with a smile, “I don’t play bumper car checkers,” while cheerfully offering to start the game (Alright! You want to go first or you want me to?) without belaboring the right way/my way.

With a baby to coo at and finger food to chomp on, he wanders off to something better.

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