A lesson is learned at a birthday party.
Johnny Babbitt’s Birthday Party
I was competitive when I was a kid; no second-place trophy for me. I made sure I never lost, just like my dad had taught me.
I remember one birthday party when I was twelve years old--Johnny Babbitt’s. After we had rough-housed for a bit in the living room, Johnny’s mom made the announcement.
“Game time, everybody to the backyard.”
The folding chairs were in a circle over by the swing set. Eight boys, one chair for each kid minus one, of course. We formed a circle around the chairs. Mrs. Babbitt turned on the music.
Eventually, it was down to two of us (Johnny and me) and one chair. I knew I should let the birthday boy win, but I just couldn’t.
The music started. Johnny and I circled the chair, round, and round until I was dizzy.
The music stopped; I ended up face-down in the grass, not by choice. Johnny had beaten me. He jumped out of the chair, whooped, and hollered all around the yard. The birthday boy looked so happy.
As it turned out, coming in second place felt pretty darn good.
And, anyway, we each got a set of jacks, a bag of Bazooka bubble gum, and a huge slice of chocolate birthday cake with Rocky Road ice cream plopped on top.
All in all, it was a great day.