Do moms and sons compete? Sure, we think about boys and their dads trying to one-up each other on the playing field, or sons who try to top their fathers professionally. But our image of mothers and sons is one in which the mother is simply proud of her son's accomplishments, and maybe even basks in them vicariously, as if they are a reflection of her parenting.
Well....I am, of course, very proud of both my son and daughter, both who they are and how they lead their lives. But I am a deeply competitive person. Not in terms of accomplishments - obiviously I don't think anything they do takes away from me (just the opposite) and I want the very best for them. No, it is in terms of games. I like to win and don't much like to lose.
As The Boy was growing up, he slowly but surely eclipsed me in every sport. By the time he was six feet tall and - in sports like tennis, ambidextrous - it was all over but the crying for me. He didn't just beat me. He dominated. Creamed. Humiliated.
There was only one competition in which I was pretty consistently victorius - word games. I held onto this edge for years. But now The Boy is into "Words With Friends," a game which is pretty much like Scrabble. It's played online, so even though he is up in Boston and I'm in New York, we have several matches going at once. And he is killing me. The score is not even close.
Well this is too much for my fragile ego to take. So on Saturday, I was at a fundraiser and there was a silent auction. I passed the "dinner for four" at a fancy local restaurant and the sports memorbilia, and went straight for the sign-up sheet that had the Scrabble water bottle next to it. I "won" an hour and a half lesson with a junior Scrabble champ (she's 15 years old) who promises to sharpen my strategy and improve my game.
I'm not proud. But I am determined.