They play it in the evening, intent on the battle, cheering every sunken ship. Dad shows no mercy, not like Mom who sometimes secretly moves a ship to ensure a hit and move the game along more quickly. With Dad, it’s about winning. It’s a battle, fought to the bitter end.

Of all the men in my home, these two, I think, are the most alike. The most competitive. The ones who tend, more than the other two, to view the world in terms of winners and losers. But they are all four, definitely, more battle-friendly than I.

Colton requested and received a dvd for Christmas, season one of the TV series Deadliest Warriors. The show is based on battle and competition. Winning and losing. Two warriors from history are assessed and the hosts determine which of them would win if they were to actually fight each other.

I watched for about five minutes, but the boys loved it. There have been endless discussions about weaponry and strategy and history and culture. There have been internet searches to further research historical people. History books are scattered around the living room. It reminds me of the little boy arguments they used to have about who would win if they were in a fight, Superman or Spiderman?

I don’t get the battle thing. I understand competition, but I’m not driven by it. I don’t want to hunt, or arm-wrestle, and I don’t care who can burp the loudest. War makes me sad. Mostly, I don’t care too much about who wins and who doesn’t. Which makes me … a girl.

All stereotypes, I know. And there are tons of exceptions and interesting divergences from those stereotypes within my own family. There are in your’s, too, I’m sure. But I’m struck, as I watch the youngest and the oldest of the men in my family play a friendly game of Battleship, by the way it brings out the warrior in each of them.