Best evening ride on the golf course ever

By |  October 15, 2015 0 Comments

matt_neff_2015Anyone who has kids knows that they ask a ton of questions, from the profound (Why are there wars?) to the decidedly not (How does your bottom make poop?). Other than correcting my 3-year-old son’s underwhelming grasp of the human digestive system, I’m not sure I adequately answer many of them.

Fortunately for me, my kids recently have become interested in my job. So while I don’t know why blue and yellow make green, I can at least answer their questions about the golf course. (Although if they ever ask me why people don’t repair ball marks, I’ll once again be clueless.)

In addition to being more curious about my job, they’ve become obsessed with wanting to ride around the course with me. So the other day I strapped their bike helmets on them, plopped them on the cart, told them to try to keep it down, and away we went. As soon as the cart started moving, they completely lost their minds but fortunately did so in a relatively quiet manner. I think it was all they could do to keep their laughter and their “faster, faster” chants to a respectable level, but they somehow managed to do so.

If there’s a way to make being on a golf course as the sun is starting to set on a summer evening any better, this is it. It was absolutely awesome seeing how happy it made them. I figured they would like it, but I had no idea how much. It’s honestly the most fun I’ve ever had on a golf course… by far.

They were blown away by everything — how short the playing surfaces were cut, how white the sand was, the hawk we saw doing work on an unfortunate rodent of some sort — literally everything amazed them. One of the coolest things about it was to observe the differences in what they saw and how it aligns with their personalities.

My 5-year-old daughter is definitely a girly girl, and she loved the beauty and peacefulness of being out there on a perfect evening with virtually no one else around. She’s apparently also not a big fan of weeds, as I learned when we walked past a patch of clover and she said, “Umm, Daddy, there’s some weeds. Aren’t you supposed to get rid of those?” Thanks for noticing, sweetheart.

On the other hand, my son, who would dive head first into a mud hole without hesitating, loves sitting on the equipment and wants to know how everything — and I mean everything — works. I think he asked me to open every valve and satellite box we passed. He also “cut down” a few trees that he thought needed to go, so he might have a future in this business.

When our daughter was born, people always told us to make sure we enjoyed the ride because they grow up so fast. I might’ve thought I understood what they were talking about, but it wasn’t until this fall when she started kindergarten that I truly knew what they meant. All of the developmental milestones up to this point were happy occasions, but her first day of kindergarten was one of the most bittersweet moments I’ve ever experienced, because for whatever reason, it was then that it really hit me that she’s growing up. In a couple more years that likely will feel like only a couple of months, her brother will follow.

That’s why I think that evening ride had such an impact on me. We don’t have forever to forge bonds and make memories with our kids.

I imagine the days of them wanting to ride around the course with dad will come to an end at some point, but before it does I’m going to enjoy every minute of it. I hope they carry memories of our evening rides for the rest of their lives. I know I will.

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