I have four wonderful daughters. They are all within six years of each other in age. At the time I am talking about here, they were maybe seven to twelve years old.
We had a basketball court set up on our driveway. The girls are all well coordinated and love athletics. On this particular day, the youngest, JoAnna, and I were on one team, and the other three girls, Gina, Jill and Janelle were on the other team. We were playing to twenty-one baskets and had been playing about an hour. I wanted to end the game so I could go in the house and relax.
The three older girls had the ball out of bounds. They called time out and huddled up. When Jill inbounded the ball, I easily intercepted the pass and scored a basket. I had been keeping the game close, so Jo and I only needed three more baskets to win. I quickly made those three baskets so I could go inside and rest. I felt like a very good Daddy.
When the game was over, I started to go inside. Jo and I were walking together enjoying our triumph. All of a sudden I felt like something uncomfortable was happening behind me. I turned around to see what was going on.
The older three girls were standing by the garage door with their arms around each others shoulders looking at me. They had a self-satisfied smirk on their faces.
I knew from their expressions that something was up. I just couldn’t figure out what was it was. Finally, one of them explained:
“We figured out you were letting us stay close. You weren’t playing your best. We called time out and decided on what we were going to do. We let you intercept those passes and score those last three baskets. We let you win. How does it feel?”
Truthfully, it did not feel good at all. At the same time, I was very proud of how insightful they were and how creatively they solved their problem. I felt like they were maturing very well, and were going to grow up quite able to handle the pressure and problems that their lives would bring.