Who could possibly lose in this?

“Mom! Look at me!”

She did, then looked back at her phone. Still no response. “Bet you can’t go higher.”

“Bet I can!”

She put her phone back in her pocket. “Not higher than me, little runt! Race you!”

He had a head start, but he was also a child with short limbs and she had been climbing all over things since she was his age. And she had never stopped. Being an adult had never stopped her.

She passed the treehouse about the time he reached it and pulled herself up to the branches above it. Finding a good place, the only place, to perch her butt, she waited for him to catch up with her. Panting, he tried to find a good place too, but without one she pulled him into her lap.

“Beat ya.”

He shook his head and stood up. She rearranged her legs, balancing perfectly. He reached up into the air. “Higher than you.”

She laughed. “What? Imagine that. Brat.” She nuzzled the side of his face. He laughed, unable to keep his hands up above her head for very long. Not that it mattered. Who had really lost?

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