chutes and ladders
I raised my girl before the arrival of great video games. So we played a lot of Go Fish, Sorry (with four-year-old Kate, it should have been named Glee), and Cherry-O! (I hated that game, with its cute little buckets and cheery little attitude.)
The last day the kids were here in Denver, though, it was the venerable Chutes and Ladders with its colorful board of ups-and-downs that came to mind.
Dmitri wanted Lily to climb some hills before leaving the Mile High area. I guess the difference between their elevation (about 40 feet above sea level) and mine (about 6,000) is significant in that regard. So we crossed the street to a wonderful park and let the lessons begin.
I learned–thanks to Lily–that you can crawl up a scary-high hill with no problem…but crawling down, well, let’s just say Wallace Stegner had something with his Angle of Repose. The dynamics are just a bit off.
I also got a refresher course–thanks to my daughter and son-in-law–on just how far a little encouragement goes when someone we love is facing a challenge. Even a simple, everyday life one. We can’t know how another perceives the territory. We can’t hike it for them. Which makes all the side stuff–the empathetic word, the silent smile– even more powerful.
Whatever hill is ahead of you today, here’s to reaching the summit. Even if it takes a few tries.
“Fall seven times, stand up eight.”