Zac edged out his dad finally. His newly measured 6'2" passed Dave by a mere inch, but that discovered inch threw Zac's shoulders back and filled his lungs and sent a rush of "maybe I can" running through his blood.
"Hey, Dad--let's arm wrestle."
Dave just laughed at first, but Zac pestered him into agreement. They pushed back the runner and cleared the dishes from the end of the table (we’d just finished dinner . . . beef stroganoff, in case you'd like to know) and propped their arms on top. “Put your other arm right here, by my elbow, so it doesn’t slip,” Zac instructed, sounding very much like a 6'2" arm wrestling expert.
Dave is the most easy-going person I know. He didn't point out that he'd been arm wrestling for twice as many years as the tall boy had lived. Instead, he followed Zac's instructions. “Ready?” he asked.
Zac started laughing—a nervous laugh, one to match the look in his eyes. “Are you watching, Mom?” he asked.
“No. I don’t want to see. I’ll cry no matter which one of you wins.” But I did watch. How could I not?
“Ready . . . go!” Zac said. And in the span of a blink, his arm hit the table. “Hey!” he protested.
“Were you trying?” Dave asked, laughing.
Zac ignored his question and propped his startled arm back up. “Let’s do it again.”
Again those two arms locked into position on the table. Again I saw that look in Zac’s eye as he stared at his foe--half hope, half trepidation.
“Ready . . . go!” And once again, Zac’s arm hit the table.
“Were you trying?” Dave asked again.
“Of course I was trying!” Zac laughed, but he was shaking his head as he did so. “I’m never going to be as strong as you, Dad.”
That’s all I wanted to hear. Just the acknowledgment that his dad is an ox. I watched him watching himself in the living room mirror, admiring his extra inch. “You’ll get him someday, Hon,” I said.
He grinned and turned and attacked the stairs, taking them two at a time up to his room.
That’s really all he wanted to hear.