For over a year, maybe two now, we have had a table-top Foosball set (pictured) in our house. It’s a miniature version of the barroom game that has undoubtedly set off more drunken brawls than guys fighting over women. It’s an intense game.
And, I’m not ashamed to admit, my 9-year-old son has dominated me in our ongoing rivalry during that time. Ok, I’m slightly embarrassed, but I’ll survive. However, he pretty much beats any extended family member he plays, so I’m far from alone in this struggle.
As any parent feels for his or her child, I’m also proud that he has excelled at something and found success with it. Perhaps someday he will compete in the Foosball World Championship (yes, there is such a thing, as it turns out), and I’ll be even prouder that he stuck with something he’s good at (unlike his father) and enjoys doing.
I’ll be sitting in the bleachers watching him matched up against a competitor from North Korea or Germany or some other faraway country where losing = exiling.
I’ll be gnawing on my knuckles in angst, watching him weave the ball in and out of rows of faceless plastic soccer players and scoring at will… I’ll be yelling at the ref (are there refs in Foosball?) for making a bad call against my son… Nudging the poor guy next to me who is only there because he thought it was a football game he would be watching, telling him, “hey, check it out, that’s my son down there, two points away from taking home the trophy and a massive heap of money (note to future self: research if they do in fact win money for this rigmarole), and he learned it all
from me by destroying me since he was in elementary school”… I’ll even get into a drunken brawl with the father of the dude who my son beat in the last round– truth is, he deserved a punch in the trap for all of the trash talking he was doing.
See? I told you it was an intense game.