I knew it'd be hard, I just didn't know it'd be this hard.
I get it. I understand. I feel it down deep. I now know why, every time I play Chutes and Ladders with my girls, somebody cries. I thought it was because they were children and didn’t like to lose. But in Chutes and Ladders, it’s the way you lose, that burns.
At first everyone’s all chatty and chirpy. My seven year old Lucy hits her first ladder, making her way to the top. As she gets closer to winning, satisfaction sprawls across her face. She laughs at jokes, and even just facts that really aren’t jokes at all, way too hard. The sweet delight, the twinkle of impending victory. Dreams coming true.
Then she takes her pointer finger. Flick, spin. The cheap piece of plastic flutters fast, round and round. This is it. Wrap it up, fam, game night’s over! She grabs her game piece. Slide, stop. Slide, stop. Her eyes move side to side as her mind counts, anticipating the square where she’ll land. Then her eyes stop. Oh crap. A chute.