It started innocently enough…
My sweet little son, Elder Pope, wrote me the kindest note last Monday about how happy I looked in the pictures I emailed him and how that really brings him joy. (Seriously, is this my kid? I love this missionary stuff.) So, what mother wouldn't melt like butter? I was literally on cloud nine. All was right in the world.
…And then he wrote, "So, I'm starting the Book of Mormon over again and I'm really bad at reading straight through it. I need a challenge…think you can beat me? ;)"
My state of euphoric joy was instantly replaced by the euphoria of COMPETITION. That thrill of rivalry for supremacy, a prize, for honor!
Do or Die! Dog Eat Dog! One-Upping! Sport, Strive, Struggle!
Go for the Gold!
(…okay, okay, deep calming breaths. Who does this kid think he is?)
The rest of the conversation went something like this:
Me: "I probably can given how much time I have compared to you. Do you have a schedule in mind?"
Elder Pope: "Well, early morning for 2-3 hours then 1 hour at lunch and/or evening. How about by the end of May? Sound good?
Me: "What? You have 5 hours a day?!!!! Hmm, I think I just got in over my head! …Okay, end of May. You're on Elder!"
Elder Pope: "HAHAHAHA I DON'T HAVE FIVE HOURS! I maybe have one if I'm lucky! Those are just times when I might be able to read if I use my time right. =]"
Me: "Oh, then this will be easier than I thought. I'm going to figure out right now how many pages a day I need to read so I can whoop you by a week. Goal set."
Elder Pope: "NO WAY! IT'S SO ON!"
So, there you have it. I am methodically working to crush my son while he labors diligently in the mission field. I'm going to email James this picture of myself for motivation.