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Thursday, July 11, 2013

ARM WRESTLING a rite of passage

 
 
ARM WRESTLING a rite of passage

 
 
 
In the Jewish tradition, when a young boy turns 13 and learns his religious lessons, he gets to announce to the world, "Today I am a man!"  In my family that announcement does not come until a son out arm wrestles his father...that would be me.
 
I have three sons.  Two are grown men.  Two have and still can easily out arm wrestle the old man...that would be me.  Mike defeated me at the age of 17; Matt was a few pounds heavier than his older brother, he pinned my arm down when he was 16.  Spencer is 15 and in all previous attempts to, "Become a man" he has been easily defeated.
 
I see Spencer on occasional weekends...(very occasional)...every other Thanksgiving (except when he has sports conflicts which is always), every Christmas and Easter, and the month of July.
 
Last July Spencer was 5'8", 115 pounds.  His attempt at manhood was short lived.  This year Spence is 6' 150 pounds.  We just had an arm wrestling match.
 
Spencer is still a boy.
 
My very sore wrist, shoulder and throbbing forearm tells me that this time next year he will most definately be a man! 

11 comments:

  1. Wow, Spencer had one heckuva one-year growth spurt!

    I think you're right....your days are numbered.

    S

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  2. DAMN what a massive spurt..Get yourself some Ice-hot patches you might need them next year ;0)

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  3. Can't say I agree with your 'Man' definition. I would say that bein g a man is more to do with being responsible and protecting others.

    Did it occur to you that your youngest son may now have let you win to protect your feelings? If that's the case he's already a man.

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  4. made me laugh. go, spencer, go!

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  5. Scot said it perfectly: your days are numbered. Start working on your concession speech.

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  6. Good for you, sir. :D
    You have a much nicer ritual than my family. Our passage-to-adulthood happens when you are officially taller and/or heavier than the next oldest. And then you get the living shite beaten out of you by that sibling because it is "officially" a fair fight.

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  7. Given the possibility that Cranky could be very gradually sliding down the other side of the hill; which could give a minor, slight, imperceptible edge to the Boy, I say CONGRATS to keeping him (the Boy) in his place.

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  8. My eleven year old grandson, who's a lefy, lets me win against his left arm and won't go with his right arm because "you could beat me in a minute, grandma." We both know he could win either way. it's been about a year since a contest; he doesn't bring it up any more. Kids are pretty cool, aren't they.

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  9. Speaking of manhood--my husband is 5'8". Both of our boys are around 6'. Everyone agrees that my husband is still the tallest--when he's standing on his wallet!!

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  10. We have two sons, but for whatever reason, only the older one ever got into the whole arm-wrestling competition with his dad. For years, it was as if he was intimidated by the very concept of ever being able to best his father. Eventually, he won, but it wasn't until he was over thirty.

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  11. We have a ritual like that, too, which determines who is a "man" around here. My husband actually "fights" with the boys - not throwing punches, but throwing slaps to the head and face in an open handed "fist fight" you might say. It's all done in fun and everyone is smiling and laughing and cheering the boys on (we are always against dad) But our oldest son is 22 years old, and still he hasn't won a fight with dad. And he really tries! See, I think my husband has an unfair advantage. He grew up in Bronx, NY. He had to learn to be street smart and had to know how to defend himself in a fight at a very young age. My boys? Well, they are being raised in The OC -- that's south Orange County, CA. They are not fighters. They have no real need to be "street smart" with a mama who drives them everywhere. I think dad will be winning the "fights" with these boys for a good, long time. Sometimes I take on my husband, just for laughs. I usually win because my feeble attempts make my husband laugh so hard...and it's when he's laughing that I get my hits in. Then the kids shout, "Mom won! Mom won!"

    Good times, good times....

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