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My Son, the Golfer

My 10-year-old is the proud new owner of a set of youth golf clubs.  He eagerly dropped $70 of his hard-earned birthday money on golf clubs.  He keeps them near and obsessively tests his grip while he awaits his father’s first opportunity to go hit some balls.

Where did this come from and how do I stop it???

Look, I’m all for any outdoor sport-type activity that will separate my child from his beloved Pokemon.  But golf?  I don’t get it.  I know people love golf, I know it’s a challenging sport and I know it has great world-wide validity.  I just don’t understand how a child can walk in on his father watching the Masters and become so immediately entranced that he must own clubs and he must play golf.  NOW. 

A source of great hilarity, via http://www.golfdiscount.com

This is a difficult moment for me, as his mother.  I know golf will be good for him and I know I must allow him to explore his interest.  It’s just not what I envisioned for him.  I was thinking football…mostly since that’s the only sport I really like and/or understand, but that’s beside the point.  The boy was born looking like a linebacker.  He was built for football, not a green jacket.  At least, that’s what I, who should know him better than anyone, always thought.

Our children surprise us.  They continually re-define themselves and their interests and it’s up to us, as their parents, not to limit them to our expectations.  Maybe my son is the next Tiger Woods.  Maybe he just wants to spend time with his dad on the golf course (not that his dad spends much time on the golf course, but, again, that’s neither here nor there.)  Whatever his reason, I don’t see a downside.  And the way the sport immediately captivated him really makes me wonder if golf could be what he was built for.  It’s up to him to decide that.  It’s up to me to encourage him, watch him play and pretend I enjoy watching.  I have to let go of my tiny dreams and let my child be who he is, not who I think he is.  I should have seen it coming, really.  This is the boy who forced the world to believe, at the age of two, that he only owned two shirts, since those were the only ones he would wear.  He will do what he wants with his life and everyone else be damned.  That’s something I adore about him.

It’s a tiny step toward letting go and it can be hard, but I have faith.  He will make me proud no matter what he does, and no matter if it’s something I enjoy.  I will allow him to create his own future.  His mother, the control freak, will relinquish control this time.  After all, while he stuns me with his love of golf, he also makes repeated off-color jokes about a bucket of balls.  And from my boy, I expect nothing less.  Putt away, my son.

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