Chutes and Ladders


We’ve been playing a lot of board games at our house lately.

I’ve always been a fan of board games (LOVE me a game night) but we’ve yet to really play as a family–probably because most of them are “3 and up.”

But since Isaiah is 3.5 now, I decided it was time to introduce him.

We started with the basics…Candy Land, Go Fish, Memory, etc. And tonight, we broke out the “Chutes and Ladders.”

Now, brace yourself. But I never played Chutes and Ladders growing up. (Insert gasp here)

So this one was new to both of us.

Nevertheless, we forged on…learning the rules together (which turned out to take all of one minute).

And just in case you are unfamiliar with the game, like me…

The purpose is to move your player from the first space to the hundredth space–climbing ladders whenever you can in order to move ahead, and avoiding the “chutes” that take you backwards.

So we start to play, and pretty quickly Isaiah hits a ladder. Loads of fun. And then he hits a chute.

I’m bracing myself for a minor meltdown when he realizes he has to move all the way back to the beginning. But instead, he seems thrilled.

I’m thinking…he must not quite grasp this game yet.

We spin again. And sure enough, he hits another chute.

“This is fun!” he says.

So…it might take him a few times to get it, I think.

We spin again.

Another chute.

“Wheeeeeeeee!” he squeals.

Time for the teaching moment.

“Isaiah, honey. You don’t want to go down the chutes. You want to climb up the ladders. You want to get to the very top. You see?”

And without missing a beat, my little one says…

“But Mommy. That’s boring. But the falling, that’s fun. You can always get back up. You can always keep going. But you see more spaces when you fall.”

Out of the mouths of babes, I tell you. Out of the mouths of babes.

Sometimes I look back at my “falls” in life and see nothing but heartbreak, and precious time lost.  But when I look a little closer, my baby’s words ring so true.

Without those falls, life would have been so boring. Without those chutes taking me “backwards”…I wouldn’t be where I am today.  I wouldn’t be WHO I am today. And I most definitely wouldn’t have seen as many “spaces.”

To be honest, I’ve felt a little like I’m “falling” lately. Life is changing so quickly, and it seems I have no control over any of it. It’s scary.

But after tonight, I got a little twinge of excitement. Because sweet Isaiah reminded me that the more I fall, the more I learn. The more I grow. And the more I become who I was meant to be.

Thank you, sweet boy. Thank you.

And Lord, please grant me the ability to teach this boy just half as much as he teaches me.

If it’s possible…