Thursday, July 14, 2011

Know When to Fold 'em

It was the best of days. It was the worst of days.

Dickens knew something of the range of human emotion. But, what did he know about playing cards?

At the beach, I was "forced" into a hand of Texas Hold 'em--a kind of straight poker, but the dealer deals the cards to all to consider, not just to you. "Forced" in that someone in the family who was playing had to attend to another matter, and I was a body who walked into the wrong place at the right time. I'm not a good card player. And, those games that I have tried to learn recently have rules that completely conflict with straight poker, which I haven't played since, probably high school. Anyhoo....

In poker, there are very few rounds in which to make decisions. You are dealt a certain hand and have to decide how many rounds you will stay in to make the best hand possible when it's time for the big reveal. As Kenny Rogers sang, "You've got to know when to hold 'em. Know when to fold 'em." Sometimes, you have to end your game early. "There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done."

If you're following me on Facebook, you know this has been a bit of a tough week. The girls are both in summer programs, which were meant to be fun. CJ absolutely loves her creative arts classes at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond. She finishes up her studio time on Friday afternoon, and it will be a sad "so long" until we can find another something to send her to downtown. She is so full creatively, and I'm thinking this burst of energy will carry her straight into the start of school, so long as she continues to use what she has learned. She has lots of materials and ideas. Writer's block? Maybe never again! Good stuff!!

After summer school, RJ2 has been attending the county's day camp program. Things have not worked out as well, unfortunately. High highs--like walking into the bowling alley and bowling for the very first time! But, low lows, too. Things are new. People are new. Same environment, but different schedule. Just not able to work things out in this short time span. Last night in my FB post, it boiled down to those lyrics.

The dealer had given out the cards, and I know what makes for a winning hand. But, RJ2 is chance. The first cards had not even a pair. The dealer laid down the next card. An ace of hearts, for sure, in a hand that showed promise for raising. But, again, RJ2 is chance, and the next card left an empty hand once again.
No one else was raising, but did it make better sense to fold, leaving with what chips we had earned this week or to stay in and look at the next card?

Decided to fold and walk away. Not run.... Lots of people had made an investment into this week, and running wouldn't be right. We're going to finish out the camp week--with ice cream today. But, the uphill learning curve, the anxiety, the lack of happiness on everyone's faces.... It was time to fold and walk away.

Hard for me, being the one just playing the hand. I can't see over the dealer's shoulder much less direct chance by seeing the cards in the stack. But, I still have to hold the cards and play the hand. Sometimes, the best move for all really is to fold and walk. I still struggle with that, because it seems like I really have left the game early. But, there's a cost to consider, and I decided it just wasn't worth it, this time....

There will be another chance to ante up sometime. There are lots of tables at which to play. Not looking for one with better odds, necessarily, but one at which we can all play and leave with a few more chips than at the table we played before.


Carmen said...

I love your analogy with the cards! It must be hard some days. Your strength and patience amaze me, though I know you rely on Him. Sometimes it takes weakness to be strong. I pray this week will get better for RJ2! Blessings!

Twins plus one... said...

I'm glad you are keeping your positive attitude, as always, and not seeing this as defeat.
Fear of the unknown and fear of the "new" is hard--on our kids and us as moms as we watch them transition into the unknown becoming the known and the new becoming not-so-new.
We have faced both of these obstacles head on this week with swim school. Some tears, some resistance, but lots of bravery and overcoming fears, too.
Hang in there. You are one strong mom who knows when it's time to fold'em and walk away (and THAT IS HARD TO DO!). And, your kids will benefit from your intuition, too. So excited for CJ as expands her creative horizons. I was so thankful for her creativity (and patience!) during Mix As Usual last week.
Hugs to you, my friend!