…would be fun, except that there is always someone who takes it seriously. And aren’t serious footy tippers exhausting? And then, don’t you get sucked in – just a little bit – to wanting them not to win. And if someone else has to win, well, it may as well be you. And it’s all downhill from there.
And so, the representatives in our wider family tipping competition are our boys. Six years old and four. This, we thought, would be fun and would expose tipping competitions for what they are.
Except that the latent competitive spirit is obviously genetic and, I hasten to point out, passed down through the male side of the line, and one of our boys – the eldest one – is suffering through learning that if someone is going to win, then someone else must lose. And in footy tipping, sooner or later, you must always lose. Ugly (not me, I hasten once again to add, I am gracious in defeat – always).
It is an opportunity for teaching I tell myself as I follow him up to his room. Again. And hold him in my arms while he sobs.
And then, on Saturday, this classic line from eldest boy: ‘the problem is, Dad, I know the past, but not the future’.
And it was only six months ago (or maybe a little more, I don’t know, doesn’t time fly) that he jumped on the trampoline full of the joy of youth and shouting, as he reached the top of his jump, ‘I can see the future from here’.