My son turned 19 yesterday.
I remember as a teenager my best friend and his father would wrestle with each other in their home. It was a way of interacting in a fun and friendly way but could also get intense at times.
My friend told me later that the intensity was caused by his father being challenged that he was being displaced as the “man of the house” or the “stronger man between the two” and that all fathers had ego challenges when this natural turning point occurred with a son. (His father was a psychologist so he got deeper explanations for things than I did)
As I hugged my son good night last night, I noticed he was taller than me. Finally. I mentioned this to him and he said matter-of-factly, “Yeah, I know.” And didn’t show the slightest bit of remorse or need to reassure me of my dominant male role in the family.
I felt like asking him if he wanted to wrestle me. But just didn’t have the energy at that moment.