My daughter is tougher than a thousand Moth judges.

I competed in a Moth GrandSLAM at The Music Hall in Williamsburg last night and finished in second place. Second place again. By a tenth of a point again.


The only consolation was that I lost to my favorite storyteller of all time, who has beaten me by a tenth of a point more than a few times in my Moth career. If I'm going to lose, I'd prefer to lose to him every time.

In truth, I was also pleased to have told my story well and to have held my own in a field of extraordinary storytellers. It was truly an all-star lineup.

When I woke my four year-old daughter up this morning, she yawned, wiped the sleep from her eyes and asked, “So? Did you win last night?”

“No, sweetie. But I came in second.”

She frowned and made a tiny raspberry sound. Then she sat up, looked me in the eye and said, “C’mon, Daddy. You always come in second place.”

Sometimes a little girl’s assessment of your performance in the privacy of her own bedroom can be tougher to handle than five teams of Moth judges in a room full of 500 people.