I didn’t think much about it until Michael came over to read and began to beg me to play cribbage with him.
“Not until you are in Grade III,” I said.
The more he begged the firmer I was with my no’s, and absolutely not’s.
But I did tell him I would give in and play just one game with him, and there would be new rules.
The player would get to peg, the number of letters of any word that they could spell.
Then I left the reading materials on the table so he would have a large pool of words to draw from.
|... pegging is such fun to do .|
First he pegged c-a-t right out of his mind. Then he pegged c-a-b from a word he could see on the table. It wasn’t long until he had figured out it was better to choose a long word like yellow, than a short one like cat.
There is nothing like the thrill of being ahead in a game of Spelling Cribbage. I stayed just a nose behind him as he worked his way along the cribbage board, learning to take the peg behind and count out the letters ahead of the next peg on the board.
|... finding a word with a lot of letters to spell ...|
I let him peg long phrases like “U R 4 Me”.
Just as he reached the finish line, his mom called for him to come home.
I opened the door and watched him walk in the darkness, stopping to pick up snow and pitch it at some imaginary target. The day has been hot, but now it was freezing and the ice was crusty and sharp.
Michael didn’t mind his lack of mitts.
He had no anxiety about getting home sooner rather than later as he lobbed one snowball and then another. He called back to me, “Don’t mind. I can get home on my own.” I stopped watching him, at least so that he could see me watching. When I could hear his feet tromping across their porch and I was sure his mother would know he was coming in the door, I closed my door.