So I have these three boys--here posing at a Wal-Mart in Wisconsin during a recent vacation (yes, we vacation at Wal-Marts). Like most boys, they're pretty competitive and there is some Oedipal thing where they'd like to beat their dad. I talk a lot of smack with them, trying to demonstrate that their dad is tough and manly. One of my favorite lines is to paraphrase Aragon in Return of the King when he is rallying the troops before the black gate. We'll get wrestling together and I'll announce: "The day will come when you boys will be able to take your father. But that day is not this day!"
Truth be told, there are several events at which I can't keep up with my boys any more. I've given up trying in video games. The controllers have just become too complicated (my video game neuro-circuitry was formed on the Atari joystick). And in board games we play pretty straight-up with each other (Connor won Monopoly last night). I've held on to physical dominance, though. In wrestling, I can still take all three at once--but now it hurts my body pretty bad. Basketball in the driveway is getting closer, but the advantage still goes to the old guy.
Today, Casey (age 14.5) asked to go to the track and race me in a mile. He's in track right now and works very hard and diligently at running. But I've been running too. He broke 6 minutes for the first time this past week. I haven't run a mile all-out in quite some time, but have done some speed work as part of my runs. So I figured it was time to give him a shot. Well, it turns out that today is the day that junior beats senior. It was very windy at the track, and I kept pace for a six minute mile for the first two laps, but on the third, turning into the wind coming down the home stretch... I died (I thought literally so for a bit). He pulled ahead and stretched it out on the last lap to a 12 second victory.
Oh well, at least I still have chess.