Guest Post: Marie, of Normal Everyday Life, on When Dad Loses to Son


EJP
EJP

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.

photo credit: keith trice via photopin cc
photo credit: keith trice via photopin cc

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.

marie post
Photo courtesy of Marie Perrigo

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.

photo credit: Nuwandalice via photopin cc
photo credit: Nuwandalice via photopin cc

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?

dad and son quote
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37 thoughts on “Guest Post: Marie, of Normal Everyday Life, on When Dad Loses to Son”

  1. Nice to meet you, Marie!

    My son is 6, so his Dad is actually bigger, faster and stronger for the time being. However he is a very smart 6 year old, and it happens more often than not that he knows more sports – and other – trivia than Dad and I combined. I think of it as making an early start to learn my place, hahaha.

    E, I want to hear that mattress / closet story. Will your Marie write a post about it??? I had to move a mattress myself the other night, it’ll be on my blog this Friday.

    1. I’ll ask her – I doubt she would write it (although she’s a fabulous writer!), but wouldn’t it be cool?

      And you’ll love Marie’s blog, Tamara. Check it out.

  2. We aren’t quite there yet as our girls are still pretty young, but I know from watching this with my own parents myself has truly made me feel more of my own mortality for sure. Can only imagine when my husband and I though do get to this point ourselves.

  3. nice post, marie. i’ve had my daughters surpass me in many arenas, and while it is an adjustment, i’m happy because it really is what i want for them. to be strong, independent and good at the things they enjoy )

    1. Thanks and that’s so true! There is definitely a lot of joy and pride as we see our kids grow and surpass us!

  4. Marie- I can’t remember when I beat my father at sports as he was ussually working second shift at Chevy or heavy overtime on the weekends. I do however remember hunting with him and realizing he had slowed down and couldn’t keep up with me walking the hills in search of deer. This would have been in the late 1970’s. And yes, sometimes granfathers will throw a game so their favorite grandaugters can win. You need to be careful though or they will call you out on it. I would guess if I was to playu tennis now I would get creamed by Brian-maybe I could hang in for a game or two.

    Dad

    1. Haha! I think kids suspect we throw games, but choose to believe it because it feels so good to win. 🙂 I remember “beating” you at tennis in high school, but looking back I think you may have going easy on me!

      1. I should drink my coffer before I try to spell. How are we looking for roller skating? I’ll swing by around 5:40 thurs. if anyone can make it.

  5. HaHa – this was funny to read because in November when our oldest turned 16 my husband felt the need to see if he could still take him down. (my husband wrestled in high school but this son has never been a wrestler) Jordan finally just let my husband when because he was ready to be done:)

  6. My dad made sure that I learned how to throw a game to my sisters, without letting it look like I was doing so. It was good practice for having kids. 🙂

    Thankfully, the kids aren’t as suspicious as my sisters were.

  7. We will be getting to this point in a few years – my son is 13. I’ve been the shortest in my family for awhile now, but my son is still all bones and angles. We’ve always warned my daughter that one day her little brother will be able to take her, and that day will be soon. I’ve never thought about him being bigger and stronger than his dad, though. I think my husband will be okay with that, but I’m going to ask him. He still wrestles with his two younger brothers like they are teenagers! It’s funny, but soon it’s going to be kinda pathetic.

    So great to see you here today, Marie!

    1. When Elise and Marie pick on Grace, I remind them that at some point, they’ll all be done growing, and she might be the strongest of them all.

      Then, she’ll even the score!

  8. My son is pretty young – two. I’m curious, though.
    I remember I used to babysit three great kids and they all looked up to me a lot. I was great at Nintendo, you see.
    I remember the day I realized all three were now better than me. It used to feel weird to win because I loved them so much. I never even let them win. They just started kicking my butt left and right!

  9. We are fast approaching this very experience. Already though my oldest daughter surpasses me in knowledge in some areas and that is kind of humbling. I guess it opens you up more to an environment of learning rather than you always having to be the teacher.

    1. I’ve found that the best conversations happen when they start to sit with me in the front seat. They’ve learned so much, and we talk, side by side, rather than me looking in the rearview mirror to make sure they’re buckled and haven’t stuck a barbie foot up their nose.

      1. I agree! I’ve especially found that my boys talk to me more riding in the front seat.

  10. My kids have been beating me at everything since they could sit up and say “go fish.” Seriously, whether it’s been Dora CandyLand or Snakes and Ladders or checkers; they always seem to beat me. They don’t seem interested in sports and that is the ONE thing I could win! LOL
    And I suck at video games so they will there too.
    My husband has been teaching our son chess over the past couple of years, and this past year at age 10 is when he has legit started beating his dad. The other night our son beat him in like 5 minutes and my husband was just like – WHAT?!! HOW!?? It was hilarious.
    I just want them all to stop growing because hubby’s family are giants and these kids are not even teenagers and they are already up to or past my shoulders.
    They even grow better than me. ha.

    1. You were just an early lesson in winning, that’s all Les. Imagine the boost to the self-esteem. Maybe they should let you win now and again, though, and show a little kindness.

      Marie actually finished a Mario Kart game she got for Christmas. Less than a month. Like, reached the end.

      See, your husband should claim to be the greatest teacher ever, you know? That’s our fall-back.

      They grow better than you and kick your butt in Candyland, but I hope they also love and think just as well as their mama, too.

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