Grace gives me all I can handle in a rousing round of disc golf.
We use a handicap system that keeps 10-year-olds who rarely play and 40-somethings who play nearly every day on a competitive plane. With two holes to go, though, I had a chance to clinch a victory with a very long putt.
“I make this long one,” I said from about 25 yards away, “and I win.”
She braced and hoped to watch my shot go wayward and the match to go on. Instead: CHING! A beautiful, game-clinching putt. She scowled, turned on her heel, and marched to the next hole. She was ticked.
But I’ve never felt like laying down in competition for the sake of my kids’ feelings.
I know someday Grace will beat me of her own accord. And that’s what today’s guest post is about: That moment when the child gets the best of dad.
Today’s guest post is from Marie. Not my second-born, assist-machine of a soccer player who recently moved her mattress into her closet. (Story for another time). This Marie writes a remarkable blog called Normal Everyday Life.
Any parent knows there’s no such thing!
Marie’s blog celebrates big and small moments. She has a knack for reflecting on those everyday moments and bouts of imperfection and finding the beauty in them. She’s a mom of five and has a smart and real-life style you’ll love.
Please give her a warm welcome here on the CD.
Hi everyone! I’m Marie from Normal Everyday Life and I’m so excited to be guest posting on Coach Daddy. Because Eli’s blog is a lot about fatherhood and sports, I thought this would be a good place to sort out my feelings on a phenomenon I’ve observed in our family this year.
Sports have always been a huge part of the relationship between my husband and our two sons. Some dads teach their kids to hunt and fish, some teach them about cars, Steve has taught our boys about sports. It’s been fun for me to watch this evolve over the years, especially since I’m not a sporty person and still don’t know the rules for many of them. I always enjoy cheering them on though!
For years, I remember Steve taking the kids out to play after dinner. Our oldest son used to grab his mitt and beg him to throw baseballs as high as he could to practice his catching. The two of them have practiced baseball, basketball, and lacrosse in our yard over and over. They’ve ran races, biked, and swam together.
Through the years, one constant remained. Dad could win! He might not always choose to win, but there was never a doubt that it was possible. He was faster, stronger, and more experienced. Not so anymore. Over the past few years, my 17-year-old has closed the gap and now surpasses his dad in speed, strength, agility, and stamina.
This feels weird. It’s weird for both my husband and my son. My son still says Dad is bigger and stronger, even though it’s obviously not true. I think it’s just as hard for him to accept this strange turn of events as it is for his father.
I’ve asked my husband how he feels about this a few times and he says he still hasn’t really admitted it to himself. I think watching our kids grow up and move past us reminds us of our own mortality and makes us face the fact that we’re aging out of the world of youth we’ve been a part of so long.
I think he wonders what happens now that the roles are reversed. Of course, they can still watch sports together, but the playing has changed.
Does my son now have to hold back on his dad? Does he have to throw a few games to make his dad feel good?
My husband jokes that he might take up sports our son isn’t good at like golf to keep it even a little longer. And at least he’ll still be ahead of our younger son for a few more years!
I’d love to hear what Coach Daddy readers have to say on this subject.
Have you experienced it yet?
Any dads or sons out there want to comment on what it feels like?