Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my daughter. At eight years old, she still wants me to cuddle in bed with her. Hugs and kisses are mandatory for goodbyes. And she still loves ponies, princesses and everything pink. However, whether Dads publicly admit to it or not, most of us wanted a son so we could show him how to fish, hit a curve ball, and toss a football around in the backyard.
Grady turned six this spring. And while he still shows his immaturity at times, he flashes qualities from time to time that confirm he is growing into a man. Take Father’s Day for example. I took Grady golfing along with my Dad where he showed us quite a bit that day.
Once a guy has his mind set on something, we stick with it, don’t we? Well this wasn’t par 30 executive golf, rather a full length 18 hole, 4+ hour round of golf. He’s hit a few golf balls before, and we even played 9 holes at a practice facility a few weeks earlier, but I never expected him to last 18 holes. My mom was on call to pick him up after the first nine, thinking he would be ready to call it a day. But instead of a PB&J and Cheetos lunch with Grandma, Grady said he wanted to finish. Between taking tee shots, hanging around on the golf cart, shooting a few fairway shots and putting every green, he hung around for all 18.
This is a required trait for all guys. That fish we caught last summer? It grew three inches and two pounds over the winter. That girl we met one weekend during Mardi Gras in college? Total supermodel by today’s standards. On the 12th green, Grady dropped his ball about 30 feet from the hole and started his process of hitting 10 or 15 fifteen putts toward the hole before calling out his score of “7” for the scorecard. Only this time he hit it hard and directly toward the hole. With the rest of us watching, it dropped right into the cup which prompted a burst of cheers and high fives. The proud smile on his face was priceless. And when we got home, he couldn’t wait to tell his big sister about his ‘Ace’ (golf lingo for a hole-in-one).
How do you celebrate your first 18 holes of golf? With a visit to the 19th hole of course! Grady and I grabbed a sandwich at the clubhouse bar with a Sprite for him, a beer for me. We sat there enjoying our refreshments, quietly reflecting on our well hit golf shots from the morning, when Grady nudged me hard on my shoulder. “Daddy, look at that sign! Free beer tomorrow. We should come back tomorrow and play golf and you can have free beer!” Now that’s what I’m talking about, Grady. You’re on the right path to becoming a man.