Thursday, December 1, 2011

Double Yahtzee

My son Griffin is a bad sport, it's his Achilles Heel, we all have them. He's very competitive, does not like to lose and when he does, it's wholly without grace. When he starts losing, things go down hill fast and he'd rather quit than finish. Ironically, he's good at everything and crazy lucky. One time at a school raffle, one of the baskets had 4 Celtics tickets and he wanted them badly. When that basket came up it had the most tickets aimed towards it and I turned to his father and said, "pay attention, they're about to call Griffin's name", "what are you talking about?", "seriously, he wants those tickets and he's the luckiest person I've ever met, it's in the bag." And the winner of the sports basket, is Griffin Clark. The woman behind me had over heard and said "wow, I thought you were nuts, that was amazing." And I said "I know my son."

Clearly the good luck skips a generation, but that's a whole other story, Griffin has great luck, and it's a beautiful thing to see your kid be charmed... at least in certain respects... his mom got cancer, so that kinda sucks. But the bad sportsmanship drives me crazy and I don't tolerate it, never have, never will, he might never get over it and he'll pay the price someday and it's gonna be ugly, but while he's in my charge, I don't accept it. It's one of the few areas where I'm not a push over.

A few years ago we were playing Yahtzee {I love Yahtzee} and I was winning, an unusual event. Griffin was getting more and more surly and demoralized and wanted to quit but I wouldn't let him. I told him I let him enjoy his victories and he owed me the same privilege {especially when it happens so rarely} and besides, the game was barely begun, but to him it was a hopeless misery. He begrudgingly picks up the dice and rolls... instant Yatzee, five of a kind in one roll. But that wasn't enough to completely turn the tide because I had been way ahead. Next turn, he rolls another Yahtzee, side-by-side double yahtzee, Unheard of, but that kid is lucky!

Obviously, his mood changed quickly after that feat, and I tried to make "double yahtzee" a metaphor for sticking with it, having faith, and not quitting regardless. That little plan didn't work, the mere mention of double yahtzee pisses him off because he doesn't plan on learning anything from me... or admitting it anyway.

The day after Thanksgiving last week, I had friends over for leftovers and we were playing games, it was really fun, I love games yet rarely have the chance to play and it was a festive, gathering. I coerced Griffin into a game of Yahtzee and he was winning as usual but I had 4 ones laying down and one more roll to go and I trash talked, I said "pay attention kid, mama's rolling snake eyes", "yeah right, you wish," and ZAM, there it was, a Yahtzee... I've had maybe one in my whole life, I'm not lucky, I don't roll Yahtzee's. and then a few turns later Zammo, I rolled another, and instead of getting angry, my son laughed and said "I did not expect that." And after that he was even willing to play Bananagrams and laughed while he lost.

I'm taking that as a sign that my luck is changing. Double Yahtzee!


  1. WOW. I am tearing up. AGAIN, wonderfully written. love you. Beautiful.

  2. K - I'm catching up b/c I'm obviously behind the news. You know, I think a cancer etiquette book is long overdue. And you are the one. A good friend of mine is 10 years in remission from the same kind of cancer as you and fit as a fiddle.