Throughout the course of a parent’s life, their children surpass them at various things. I knew this was coming. I know at some point my kids will run faster than I can, or play a game better than I can. I am sure that I, like any parent who is not also a teacher, will reach a point were I am unable to help my kids with their homework. I’d like to think I could keep up with them homework wise until they are mostly through high school, but who knows what they’ll change math to by then?
I know these things are coming, but I figured I would be superior to my children in all things at least until middle school. Until my daughter said, “Look daddy, I can whistle.”
My arsenal of skills and abilities does not include whistling. It never has and it never will. I made peace with that long ago. Sure, I still can’t bring myself to watch Bridge on the River Kwai, but whatever, it’s fine. But now my kid, who still needs help wiping her butt mind you, is showing me up. Because it’s not just that she can whistle and I can’t, it’s that she knows she can whistle and I can’t. While demonstrating her whistle to others, she is always sure to point out that daddy can’t whistle, but she can.
Yeah, well, let me know how those shoes without laces are treating you. I’ll just be over here tying all the knots, you little snot.
It’s a little thing, I know. I’d argue that whistling is one of those things that isn’t a learned ability, but something you just can or can’t do. Like throwing a baseball 90 miles per hour, or having visible abs. But I’m just not ready to have my kids not look up to me for everything. Today it’s whistling, but what’s next? Grilling? Lifting heavy things? Hanging pictures perfectly straight? I’ve got to tell you, that one isn’t an incredibly high bar to clear either.
Perhaps it is a good thing that my kids are already excelling at areas that I haven’t. That’s what makes the next generation better than ours, right? My kids will be great whistlers who can spell words correctly. No crippling reliance an spellcheck for my kids, no sir. And as they get older, maybe it will be a fun competition? I can see it now, me and my kids coming down the home stretch of a 5k, jockeying for the lead, giving it all I have and seriously debating if it would be out of line to trip one of them. If they are going to surpass me at something, they’ve got to know they are in for a fight. If I’m not letting them win at Candy Land as toddlers, I’m sure as shit not letting them win at anything once they’re older.
Whistling spelling bee champions with a burning desire to crush their father at Trivial Pursuit. What more could a parent ask for from his children?