Tag Archives: loss

Defeated Again

Do you want to know my win / loss record lately?

Tennis with my oldest son tonight 1 and 1. (He won the regular set, I won the shortened one)

Disc Golf with both my sons 0 and who knows.

Lightsaber battles with my second daughter 0 and like 28.

Pool basketball? 1 and too many to count.

Regular basketball? Against my sons? Haven’t won any serious games in years.

Chutes and Ladders (and other games)? I win sometimes. I’m a pretty good Pitch player.

Lately, I have been defeated in lots of different activities. And it is a bitter but mostly sweet feeling. These defeats are milestones for my children and for me. They are important for a number of reasons.

For my children they gage where they are in life regarding their mental and physical stages. I am, as a father, a measuring stick for them. There is a special joy they feel when they win against me. I see it in their faces, the way their eyes shine. I also see their frustration when I win. Either way, they are building strength, discovering what they are capable of. And not just physically. They have to handle their emotions, win or lose. Playing against dad (and mom sometimes with tennis) gives my children a space to develop who they are. 

The second factor is that we build memories, win or lose, great shots are made, awesome hands are dealt, funny jokes shared, and sometimes bandages are needed (driveway basketball is not forgiving). Playing allows us to live life fully. The moments get retold at the dinner table. The disc golf shot on the first hole. The 9 bid because I didn’t have the 2. Switching to the other color of lightsaber but still losing.

As a father, I get to see my children grow. I get to teach them, through playing, life lessons that I know will be needed in their efforts to reach their goals. Yes, sometimes in the activity (like basketball) but also in the hardships that life has. I influence how they handle winning and losing. My children get tested playing with me before they are tested by life, tested by an opponent, tested by their own doubt and fear. They build their strength by defeating me. 

And I love it.

I may never win a basketball game again. Or a lightsaber battle. But you better believe that I will be up to playing with my kids, no matter their age or my record. I’m their father, that’s what I do.

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Walking Thoughts

This morning it was about 57 degrees outside. I decided not to wear a sweatshirt because I always end up taking it off and tying it around my waist. My walk started out chilly, and stayed that way. Maybe it was because of the temperature that my thoughts jumped around in my head this morning…

I decided to listen to Dream Academy on my walk. The first song “Life in a Northern Town” has a line that got me thinking about the craziness of the moment.

I considered how many life changing events have happened over my lifetime. How many times people said we would be different when things went back to normal. That’s when I saw a bird hopping along a lawn with a beak full of grass and sticks. Obviously building a nest nearby. I was just passing a cul de-sac where a new home was being built. Three houses down from us, a new family was moving in. They arrived yesterday.

Home has always been a foundation of our lives. Sadly, this pandemic has elevated the sad reality that home is not a good place for all people. Domestic and child abuse cases have risen during this pandemic. Divorce rates are expected to rise after the lockdowns. Home should be the best place to be right now. As a father and husband, I was trying to make sure home was the best place to be for my family.

The wind was a constant on my walk. My bare arms took the blunt of the chill. The cold actually felt like sleeves on my arms. It felt good in a way. As I turned corners, or walked along the curve of a street, the wind would shift from my shoulders to my face. Walking through the wind gave me a defining edge. I felt my arms swing through, my forehead chilled and my eyes squinted. I felt like me, I felt a boundary to my existence which has been blurring like the way days are blending together. Walking through the cold heightened my sense of self this morning.

I followed a curve of a street that led me to a street filled with blossom petals.

I was struck by the beauty and sadness of the scene. The trees in the area were still mostly filled with the blossoms. And the blossoms would be replaced with leaves and the trees would have a different look, a different beauty. But the situation reminded me that everything changes. Endings happen. There are new beginnings. And pain is part of that process. Whether it is regret or the feeling of loss, our heart goes through that pain. If we truly live our lives with an open heart, we will feel both sides of the spectrum. Joy and sorrow. That’s good. Those emotions give us a defining edge too.

I turned the last corner. I had three blocks till I was home. As life does sometimes, the music in my earbuds played a most appropriate song…

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