Not Today (#247)

“Not today” was the thought that ran though my head. The score was 18-17, my heart was racing and I was legitimately nervous. I had never trailed this late in a game before when trying my hardest, but my opponent was making all the big shots. I was facing the reality that this might be the day I lost for the first time.

This wasn’t a nostalgic memory from high school; it was the latest 1-on-1 basketball game with my middle son, Max, an activity we have doubled-down on during the pandemic.

Since Max was about 11, I have not let him win these 1-on-1 games. I’d make the games close and fun, but would always manage to come through in the end.

For me, beating your dad, whether it’s at basketball, tennis, scrabble or cards, is one of those rites of passages that should be earned. I still remember the day I finally beat my dad in a game of 1-on-1 basketball; I’ve still never beaten him at golf.

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