What I Learned From Solitaire

Peace, Love and Black Birds
6 min readAug 8, 2019

My 12-year-old son recently came to me with a request, “Can you show me how to play Solitaire?”

I stared at him for a moment. First, how was it possible that I had never taught him or his older sister how to play Solitaire? I came from a long line of Solitaire players and the game was incorporated into much of my childhood. Today, my family plays a lot of games, especially card games; Exploding Kittens, Zeus on the Loose, Resistance, Uno and most recently, Unstable Kittens. A few times every year, we drive two-hours away to attend pre-release for Magic the Gathering, another card game. Yet somehow, I had neglected to show my children how to play the most famous card game of them all, Solitaire.

My second thought; in today’s world, was Solitaire still relevant? Kids these days have new card games. They are surrounded by electronics. They have a never ending supply of television on demand. When I was a kid, we had exactly three channels, ABC, NBC, and CBS. Once in awhile, if the reception was good, we might get the Canadian PBS channel. Cartoons were played on Saturday mornings and I could watch Giligan’s Island for about thirty minutes when I came home from school, if the bus was running on time. For kids in today’s world, I was not sure if Solitaire really had a spot.

I decided to oblige my son and show him a couple hands of Solitaire. We sat down at the kitchen table that Sunday morning. I shuffled as I explained the order of the cards and rules of the game. He quickly became hooked and I enjoyed watching him play and squeezing in a hand or two myself. Soon, morning became afternoon, as we were joined by first daughter and then husband. It was about then that realized the mistake in not sharing the game of Solitaire with my children. I knew then that it too had a place in their lives. As we continued to play, I thought back to memories of my own childhood and just how important Solitaire was to my formative years and how many lessons from the game that I took away and added into my life.

Solitaire was never very solitary.

Yes, it is a single player game that you played alone. Yet, in my household, we were never isolated when we played; me, my mom, dad, friends and neighbors. Everyone played Solitaire and we all interacted when we played. While…



Peace, Love and Black Birds

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