This Christmas, my mother gave Daughter #1 a game of checkers, and they played many matches over our holiday visit. When my mother visited us over the summer, she wanted to play checkers. We went to the store, and believe it or not, they didn't sell checkers. They had dozens of Ants in the Pants and Cootie, but no checkers. Both my mother and daughter were disappointed.
So, now we have checkers. Over the weekend my daughter and I sat down for a match. She's a smart kid, so I was prepared for a good beating. We played three games straight, and I kicked ass. I yelled King Me! every time I got my man to the back and insisted the top checker be crown side up. It was a fluke, as are most of my successes. Beginner's luck.
I am not technically a beginner, having been raised by a checkers champion. My mother is sly at the game, as she is with most games. She sits in her chair, hunched over the board, rattling her opponent's losses in her hands--click, click, clickety--throwing the opposition off with mumblings about being stumped and not knowing what to do next. If you aren't careful, you'll believe her, and you'll have a false sense of confidence in your next move. You slide your man over a square, and zap--she has jumped three men in one swoop and landed in your back row--hah, king me! It's a brutal game, checkers with my mother. She got it from her father, my Granddaddy Maner who could clear a board in three moves before you even get a man out of the gate.
Daughter #1 and I played another couple of games on New Year's Day (we know how to have a party), and I lost miserably, stuck in the corner with no place to move. I may never win another game, like I will never win at Pente or any other game that involves forethought. But I don't mind--it's the playing that makes it fun (spoken like a consistent loser).