Sarah’s chubby fingers gripped the crooks of her folded arms.
Her usually cherubic face contorted into a grimace.
Her eyes became chocolate tongues of fire as she watched me collect the remaining cards.
In a crystalline 4-year-old aria, she sang,
“I don’t want to play any more.”
Now, the game was her idea.
She had bounced with excitement as I set up the board, arranged the cards, and gave her a game piece.
But Sarah stomped her Stride Rite sneakered feet in displeasure when she began to lose some of her gold tokens.
Something shifted when she realized that losing was a possibility.
I don’t want to play any more.
We can feel the same way at times in life.
We are granted moments that make us float with thrill and encounters that simmer into syrupy joy.
It is when these occasions threaten to persist
When they hint at continuance
That give us pause.
Because we know that floating too high can make you fall
And simmering can ease into a slow burn
And injury to our person
The risk gets real.
And we don’t want to play any more.
But stopping the game means cutting a journey short.
Ending the happy
And closing the door to a win.
Yeah, painful defeat is conceivable.
So is exhilarating triumph.
Let’s see what’s next.
Stay in the game.
And keep playing.