As my Oldest and I set out for a hike today, I asked him how he felt about beating his Dad yesterday in arm wrestling. A tiny smile played at the corner of his mouth and then he demurred, "well, he had wrestled with Middle a little while before." Pause. "And he gave up at the end."
I led the way up the steep path out of our canyon and told him that he might have ambivalent feelings about beating his Dad, just as his Dad has conflicting feelings about being beaten.
"One the one hand, I’m pretty sure he will be doing some extra upper body work at the gym," I said, breathing hard, "but much more important, I know he is really proud of you and happy for you to beat him."
I can’t tell you his reaction to my motherly wisdom because he chose that moment to pass me on the hill for the very first time.
I’d love to elaborate, but I have to go work out.