Although they are just 8 and 10, my kids are starting to surpass me. Not in the more important things — like math or driving or Final Jeopardy (although I’m sure it is just a matter of time for those, as well).
But they have definitely turned the corner on me in almost anything to do with their hobby of choice: sports.
Although I am glad they are learning and growing, as a former college athlete I also am slightly offended.
I could understand it in soccer, with all that running, but the fact that my older son can sometimes dribble and shoot around me in basketball (my sport of choice) really stings.
And, adding insult to my sports injury, the elementary-schoolers also can beat me in sports knowledge — and that doesn’t even require fresh legs.
But, to be fair, I don’t think I ever had the passion that my sons have for learning the ins and outs of the wide world of sports.
That gene they got directly from their father, against whom I compete in a fantasy football league.
I joined our office league about 12 years ago, mostly as a defensive move.
Football was my least favorite sport (if you don’t count hockey), and I knew it was going to be on TV at home for hours each week.
So I figured I might as well do what I could to make it more interesting for myself.
And it has worked — I definitely care more about the games and the players than I used to. But it has required more study of football as well, which has been something that has come more slowly.
Maybe it’s just that my interest in football can only stretch so far, but for years I have struggled to get down cold which players are wide receivers and which are running backs — sometimes on my own team.
And, keeping straight which teams those players are on was sometimes a challenge as well.
One year my husband said he was going to fine me a dollar if, in conversation, I asked him again which team one of my own players was on.
But, in the face of this taunting adversity, I have managed to make my team work — even making it to the championship game a couple times. And I never relied on my husband or others for outside help.
That is, until now.
Since our kids are the aforementioned sports nuts, a few years ago my husband and I thought it would be nice if we let them be a part of our fantasy football teams. My husband acquired the little one, and I got his big brother.
At first, they just liked being able to be a part of the action, cheering for “their” players, and sharing in the highs and lows of the season.
But somewhere along the way (or maybe all along the way), they started paying attention.
I began to notice because that they’d giggle when I got my NFC and AFC teams mixed up, and they’d join conversations with other adults about a player I had never heard of.
Suddenly, they knew more than I did. (I know I didn’t set that bar very high, but it was still a hurdle to clear.)
For this year’s fantasy football draft, my fifth-grade partner made many of the tougher decisions, and even managed to “steal” Chargers receiver Vincent Jackson from his dad.
So, I guess it’s not all bad that I have been surpassed by people who still need the occasional reminder to go to the bathroom.
That’s just how families are — we all bring different skills and strengths to the table.
I’m just glad at least one of them is on my team.