I believe playing cards are therapeutic. From the time I was born my grandmother has been my babysitter. She’s the one who has fed me, entertained me, and helped me with my homework. Although those things are all very important to a child, there was something she did for me that I’m forever grateful for. I am simply talking about playing card games with me. Yes, I am talking about that simple deck of 52 cards containing jacks, queens, kings, and aces, hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades. Although it may not seem like therapy for everyone, maybe rather a headache for some, there was something about it that made my day better.
Of course, I wasn’t a card player at three years old, but about the time I was in 2nd grade I became an avid player. I had a daily routine of going to school, going to Grandma’s, doing my homework, having a snack, and then we sat down and dealt the cards. Monday through Friday at about 4 in the afternoon you could count on seeing my grandma and I sitting at the kitchen table playing a game of King’s Corners, Crazy Eights, or Rummy. Although the games were fun, I don’t think it was the actual card games that felt therapeutic to me. I think it was the time I got to spend with my grandma that was so significant. It was the conversations that took place during the card games, like the typical questions about how school went, what I was learning, and how my day was. Like most little kids, I was a chatterbox and just wanted to be listened to, but I also liked listening to my grandma talk about genealogy and about life when she was a little girl. It was my grandma’s willingness to genuinely listen to me while we played a hand that made me love cards so much. It felt therapeutic.
Although I don’t get to go over to my grandma’s everyday after school anymore, I still get the occasional opportunity to spend time playing card games with her, and it’s every bit as enjoyable as I remember. She still asks about how school went, what I’m learning, and how my day went. It’s just as therapeutic now as it was before. She’s been there for me before, and she’s still here for me now. I’m grateful to know my grandma is sitting at the kitchen table with a deck of cards whenever I need her.