Not a Shining
Dad moment for me!
Chess is a game of strategy, intelligence, & wit. At least that was my perspective from the outside looking in. It was a game for the smart kids and I WAS NOT interested.
A couple of years ago I was walking through our shop and I began noticing that on break one of our employees (Thanks Ethan) was teaching my son Levi (our 6th oldest) how to play chess (and YES Ethan was a smart kid).
Day after day I’d watched… One day the table would erupt in laughter, the next you would hear “awe man!” and I knew Levi had been defeated again. Levi made it a point to find Ethan at that table every moment he was able. Levi would beg me, “Can I come into the shop today?”
Interesting to me was the patience this young man had in teaching the strategies of the game. If Levi made a bad move he would explain it. Not only that but, also the sacrifice of his breaktime to teach an 11 year old boy how to play chess. I would have never done that… and sadly probably still wouldn’t…(Lord help me be better)
A year or so later I’m walking through the house after a long day and I hear “Dad, you wanna play me in chess?” “No thanks!” becomes my routine easy response. Routine because he begins asking over and over and always at the “wrong time”. The moment “Nah!” rolls off my lips I can easily justify my reasoning… I just don’t have the time, or I’ve got this or that to do, etc… I’ve always got a reason.
Coleen (that’s my beautiful bride) is an incredible helper! If you’re married to someone like me, being a helper is an extremely exhausting task! She often tells me and rightly so, “I’m the string and you’re the kite.” It’s a beautiful metaphor of our relationship. Without the constant resistance of the string the kite can’t even get off the ground let alone fly. But that resistance sometimes…
The chess board had been set! The “resistance” had done its work and I was sitting face to face with my son. I’ve always had this belief that i’m a reasonably intelligent guy. After having the rules explained to me (no, i’ve never played chess) I felt pretty confident that I could crush my competitor with supreme mind power alone. He’s only 12… I’ll go easy on him.
Things went wrong in so many ways… Looking back (I hate to even write this) I’m extremely embarrassed and ashamed that I was a horrible sport! I got angry, raised my voice, blamed my wife, and ultimately pushed away from the table while knocking my pieces over. (real mature I know).
Not a shining dad moment for me!
After coming to my senses I had to give a lot of meaningful “I’m Sorry’s” to several important people in my life. I probably needed a good butt whooping too… I failed to recognize how hard Levi worked to learn the game. He spent countless hours of practice, reading, and watching strategy videos. My wounded pride… exposed some character flaws that needed work. I’m fortunate to have a family that shows grace and mercy ~ Thank you!
Since then I have really come to enjoy the game of chess… I’ve only beat Levi 1 time but I’m learning and he’s being a very patient teacher. I not only love the game, but I love the art behind the boards, and chess pieces… We are in the process of creating some truly beautiful handcrafted chess pieces that you will want to make part of your family game table.