John and I have been playing chess since he was four. I've made it a point over the years never to take it easy on him. Ever. In the early games, he really took losing to heart and Rebecca would shake her head disapprovingly at the heartless... er, competitive... way I played, so I made a deal that the day he wins, he gets my chess set.
Tonight, at seven years of age, he has caused me to be in the market for a new chess set. He beat me, and I didn't even see it coming.
I always knew the day would come but, for some reason, I assumed it'd be gradual, perceptible, and, frankly, years away. I was focused on bringing my Queen to cover the eighth rank while he was seemingly goofing around with some pawns, then, in a swift Qg7->Qa1 it was done, "got you Daddy." He says that a lot though, so it took a while for it to slowly sink in. Sadness, pride, happiness, deflation, humility... he won. Fair and square, he won and got himself a pretty decent chess set tonight.