89: Yahtzee Queen

89: Yahtzee Queen

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks to My Mom

Yahtzee Queen

Life is more fun if you play games.

~Roald Dahl

Since my family has never been that interested in watching television, we often play games in the evenings. One Christmas, I received Parcheesi, Scrabble, Chinese Checkers, and Monopoly!

When Milton Bradley came out with Yahtzee, the family quickly gravitated towards that game. No one loved it as much as my mother. After her four children were grown, she introduced Dad to the game. They spent many afternoons and evenings playing Yahtzee.

When her four grandchildren came along, Mother found a new round of challengers. As soon as the grandchildren could sit on their knees and write the numbers, they were introduced to the game. The front of the box read “five years and up” but Mother began with her grandchildren as soon as they could roll the dice. Since all the adults played this game, these tykes believed they were very grown up. They never realized they were actually learning to count, multiply and add. They thought of math as a game taught by their grandmother and played for fun. When they entered school, math was not a difficult subject for them.

This tradition has continued with Mother’s great-grandchildren. And again, math skills are not problematic as they advance in school.

Yahtzee score pads are frequently in short supply. We often find them at garage sales or thrift stores, but sometimes we have to pay full price. While other grandmothers get stationery for Christmas, we know that Yahtzee pads are the perfect gift!

Ten years ago Dad passed away. Mother continues to live alone, and without a Yahtzee opponent in the evening she works word puzzles.

But Yahtzee is still Mom’s favorite game. Mom is nearing ninety and keeping her mind active is one of the goals. She likes to play marathon sessions of Yahtzee when I visit her. Sometimes she even lets me win in order to sucker me into another game. She has truly earned the title of Yahtzee Queen.

And thanks to my mom, all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren have wonderful math skills. All from a family game!

~Linda Lohman

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