Winner, winner, chicken dinner!'
June 05. 2013 9:46AM
We live in a society that’s been taught to win, to achieve, to be the very best. Because as we all know, second place is, well, second place.
While we’re not born with that win-at-all costs instinct, it doesn’t take long for a youngster to realize that it’s much more fun to be on the winning side than on the losing side.
I saw that firsthand during our family’s recent stay at an Alexandria, Minn., lake resort last week. Great-nephew Jonathon, who turned 5 in February, loves to play games – and of course, he likes to win, too. And while it may be difficult for a 5-year-old to understand that you don’t always win – especially in life – he simply doesn’t like to lose.
I watched him count off spaces in a game of “Chutes and Ladders” against his mom one afternoon.
“Winner, winner, chicken dinner!” he proudly announced as he shot his short little arms into the air.
On another occasion, he “schooled” my mom and I in a game of “Sorry.” We played the game like his dad and my mom played when Travus was not much older than Jonathon is now.
“Are we going to play ‘down and dirty like your dad I used to play?’ ” Great-grandma Joyce asked him before we proceeded.
“Yep!” he eagerly answered.
And that’s how we played – down and dirty – and once again, Jonathon rose to the top, despite sending my tokens back to start play after play after play.
The game’s outcome really wasn’t that important to mom or I, and the joy he got from winning a simple board game was well worth the time we spent playing it.
On one of the rainy afternoons, our family took part in the weekly minnow races the resort owners stage. While the event typically takes place outdoors, the weather that day moved the races inside the quaint resort headquarters, where first, all of the kids squared off. In what would be his “official race,” the minnow Jonathon had plunked from the pail of minnows was being less than cooperative for the blue-eyed, blonde-haired youngster. Midway through the race as he viewed his opponent nearing the finish line, tears began to roll down Jonathon’s face as he gave up on the cause.
Because losing, you see, isn’t as fun.
When it came time for the adults to take their try at maneuvering a minnow from one end to the other of the trough-like “race track,” my minnow and I stormed to the finish line as though a tornado was on our tail. Well, for the minnow at least, it must have seemed that way. The only tool issued to the minnow racers was a plastic straw that you could either prod the minnow along with or blow it to the finish line. I opted for the latter, and on my first two runs, my minnow and I were victorious.
With a pair of dominating wins in my first two races, I was sure victory was in my future going into the semifinals. I approached this race as I had the other two, but by race three, my squiggly little minnow caught on to my approach and instead of zooming toward the finish line, it zigged and zagged around the starting line. Before I knew it, nephew Tim’s wife, Ashley and her speedy minnow, “Jaws,” had “schooled” me.
I lost out on the big prize that day – a free t-shirt from the resort that announced on the backside, “Minnow Race Champion!”
And while I would’ve worn the “Minnow Race Champion!” t-shirt with great pride, I learned that winning isn’t always so important. The real victory – win or lose – is in the journey getting there.
Community organization needs
This week’s needs at the Brandon Area Food Pantry are disposable razors, paper towels, bottled juice, pizza sauce, baking supplies and cookie mixes. Before donating, please check the expiration date, as expired food items cannot be distributed. Monetary donations are always appreciated.
The BAFP is located at 406 Main Ave., and is open from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. To donate to the food pantry or for more information, call 582-7001.
The Brandon Lions Club also wants your aluminum cans. Proceeds from the sale of aluminum funds requests to the Club for vision and hearing impairment needs.
The Lions Club collection shed is located in the Sunshine Foods parking lot.