For the past three seasons, Bean has played Little League baseball and our whole family has loved it! We became dugout parents and spending three or four days a week at the ball park was not an inconvenience at all. We truly loved it. So, it kind of broke our hearts just a bit when Bean said he didn’t want to play this season.
My first instinct was to insist I knew better than him.
“You’ll love it!” I coaxed. “You’ve always loved it!”
“Maybe you just need a little break and then you can go back…” Chris tried.
But eventually, we learned the lesson that all parents absolutely hate learning: our kids have their own thoughts, feelings, preferences, and opinions. Dammit.
So, Chris and I hung up our coaching jerseys and “Baseball Mom” t-shirts. Bean couldn’t really decide what else he wanted to try. Maybe soccer? Maybe basketball? Maybe swim team? He finally settled on golf lessons, much to the happiness of our entire golfing family. Chris and I signed him up for “The First Tee,” which is an organization that was near and dear to my dad’s heart. It is not just golf lessons, but teaches kids about sportsmanship, etiquette, respect for yourself and others, and how to use those skills and principles on the golf course.
He had his first lesson this past Thursday. The very first thing the golf pro told the parents at orientation was that we had to stay at least 50 yards away because “you don’t bring your mom to the golf course with you.” This is the first extracurricular we have had where we just drop him off somewhere. It is such a stark difference from being at the ball park as a family or being in Cub Scouts as a family. Instead, this is Bean’s deal. Without us. And that’s something very new to our family.
When I went to pick him up, he was walking back up to the green on the ninth hole with the group of kids and their three coaches. They were walking the hole to identify all the parts of a course – the fairway, the rough, the tee box, the green, the sand traps, etc. When Bean saw me, he came sprinting up with a huge smile on his face. “Mom! This is going to be so much fun!”
(And, yes, I was 50 yards away when I took this picture. Now, I just need a zoom lens and it will be just like I’m out there with him!)
(BEANIE! MOMMY’S COMING!)
And that’s when I went out and bought myself a complete “Golf Mom” wardrobe, complete with a “Junior Golfer is in this car” bumper sticker. I kid you not.
This will be very different than baseball. No stands. No cheering. No encouragement from the stands that ONLY THE WOMAN WHO GREW THAT CHILD IN HER WOMB COULD GIVE!!! This is really something Bean will go through by himself with his team and coaches. But he does have a home component to the program. He has a little workbook that he has to complete each week that asks him to reflect on what he has learned. This weekend, he had to fill in a section on places and times when he has shown respect to himself, to others, and to the environment around him. Pretty good. I like anything that encourages physical activity AND solid reflection on what it takes to be a good person. And maybe it will be good for Chris and I as parents, too. Maybe WE will learn something about supporting without being a part of what our kids are doing.
I hate learning that lesson, too. Dammit.
On our way home, Gracie asked Bean 100 questions about his golf lesson, mostly revolving around any treats or food he might have gotten that she didn’t. There was also the question about if he wore his athletic cup, to which he replied was none of her business. Though, later he pulled me aside and asked, “I don’t really have to wear my cup, do I?!”
Ahhh… Men and their clubs and balls.