Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Playground Logic

Playground logic hits me in the face on a regular basis.  What I mean is the black and white way that kids assess situations that cuts to the chase in a way that we grown-ups have forgotten.  It seems the products of the "everyone gets a trophy," generation have kids who have clearly defined lines of who is a winner and who is a loser.

And since I frequently run races, I frequently have to explain to my son that I just because I didn't finish first, I didn't actually lose.  I mean, I didn't win, but, well, everyone in the race is a winner in some way that is unique to them.  And he looks at me and says, "did you win?"  Well, no.  "Then you didn't win."

yeah, this kid is definitely related to me.

So on Sunday I was painting the front door and watching some of the repeat coverage of the NYC marathon, and Mr. Positive Reinforcement comes wandering around right as the first male finisher is coming in.  He witnesses this and cheers to the TV, "yea!  you won your race!"  It was so sweet.  And then he asked me, "are those people the losers?"

"Those people" would be the people who are coming in just slightly after the first guy.  You know, the ones who ran a marathon in  2 hours, 9 minutes.  Those people So we started the conversation again, only this time instead of trying to explain the grainy defintion of "winner" in today's world, we talked about how calling people losers is just not polite, regardless of your opinion of their goal achievements. I think he got it this time.

When I ran the half-marathon last month, all of the finishers got a bottle opener on a lanyard with the race logo printed on it as a keepsake medal.  My kiddo saw it and said, "good job mommy! You won your race!" 

I almost told him that I had not actually won.

But I kept that little nugget of reality to myself and instead just said, "thank you."

Huge shout-out to two of my friends, Elizabeth and Josh, for running on Sunday!  Good job!  You won your race! :) 

Good day!


Pam said...

Hahaha... big difference between winning *THE* race and winning *YOUR* race.

But who's to say which is more meaningful?

The (not so) Reluctant Athlete said...

Exactly! Cue the back to school special theme song... :)

'Drea said...

Even though it's not polite, what your kid said is hilarious.