Last night Olivia’s homework was to play Rock/Paper/Scissors with someone at least twenty times and keep track of who won so that she could figure out if it’s a fair game and if both people had the same chances of winning.
I HATE rock/paper/scissors. I remember being on a train from Chicago to my mom’s house (way back when I was in my twenties) and this kid was seated next to me. She was probably about six. She was cute, you know, for being someone else’s kid.
She wanted to play rock/paper/scissors non-stop. It was awful. Her mom was across the aisle with a younger sibling and so I was stuck with this kid, playing rock/paper/scissors from Chicago, IL to Waterloo, IN. That’s about a three hour trip. It was torture.
During that trip, I wondered why that child’s mother couldn’t be bothered to save the stranger across the aisle.
I realize now that she was probably just grateful for a momentary reprieve from rock/paper/scissors.
But we played it last night because it was her homework. After we played our twenty rounds she had to answer a few questions about the game. I sat with her while she read the questions and answered them. I let her write in her own words why she felt the game was fair to all who were playing it. That was cute.
And I forgave that mom from all those years ago. My twenty seven year old self is probably still a little miffed that she spent two plus hours playing rock/paper/scissors with a stranger’s child but my forty six year old self gets it. It takes a village and sometimes we even have to deputize strangers into our village just to get through the day.
Our current village is pretty small and self-contained but I’m on the lookout for more members, more ideas on getting through each and every day.