Marines.Together We Served

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Granddads Rule!

              My two five-year-old granddaughters began kindergarten in August which had an indirect impact on my own weekly schedule. Alyssa lives here in Ripon. Brooklyne, on the other hand, lives in Turlock.

I am now delightfully responsible for picking up Alyssa from school on Fridays. I say “delightfully” because it provides me with a few hours of one-on-one time with one of my grandkids. Priceless!

So, after I pick up Alyssa we go to McD’s for a hot fudge sundae, or a smoothie or some other treat that I’m a sucker for. Then we head for Spring Creek Golf and Country Club where I’ve been working with Alyssa on enjoying the game of golf. She brings her golfing togs in her backpack and changes in the ladies locker room. Then it’s putting on the practice green before heading out to play a few holes. My manner of instruction is to allow her to hit a ball when she wants to, or just ride in the golf cart with me. She likes to sit on my lap and steer the cart as we travel from hole to hole.

Last week Brookie spent the weekend with Alyssa. On Saturday Alyssa had a birthday party to attend, so it was previously arranged that I would take Brookie to the club to play golf. So when Isaura stopped by to pick Brookie up from Laura’s, the following exchange took place.

Laura said, “Brookie’s going to go play golf with your granddaddy, while you go to the birthday party.” Alyssa said, with big tears, “But I don’t want to go to the birthday party. I want to go play golf with my granddaddy.” Then Laura said, “Your friend is expecting you. We bought the gift, and it’s a princess party, and you love princess parties.” Alyssa was insistent, “But I don’t want to go. I want to go play golf with granddaddy!”

Well, chalk one up for granddads! I was surprised that spending time with me playing golf trumped a princess-themed birthday party, but that’s how the story was told to me. Alyssa composed herself and attended the birthday party. And Brookie and I had fun at the club.

Now Brooklyne does not have quite the same level of interest in swinging a golf club that Alyssa has at this point, but she sure does like to sit on my lap and steer the cart. I asked her where she learned to drive the cart so well. She told me her other grandfather, Papa Joe, has a cart that he drives around where he works, so she’s had quite a bit of practice.

As we cruised around the course, Brookie asked me why I couldn’t have her play golf with me more often. I explained that with her living 25 miles away it was much less convenient connecting with her than with Alyssa who is only a mile away. Brookie then said, “But you could come and take me to the Turlock Golf and Country Club!” I attempted to put it into perspective. “I’m not a member of the Turlock club,” I said, “like I am at Spring Creek.” She was having none of this excuse making on my part. She was backing me into a corner and I could see that she was settling for nothing less than more involvement in her life with time together centered around the game of golf. I told her I would check with the folks at Turlock as to the possibility of bringing her over to their club where we could play. That’s next on my list of things to do.

Alyssa is a blur of motion when we are at the club. She grabs her golf club, tees up her ball and lets fly. She then runs to the ball where she again tees it up, and gives it another mighty swing. Now for you purists, I’m quite aware that this is not the proper way to play the game. It’s okay! I want the girls to have fun playing. If they like it well enough to want to learn the nuances of the game, then I will stress the importance of knowing the rules and etiquette of the game. I have already shown them how to repair ball marks on the green, and to fill in the divots with sand on the fairways, and the proper way to rake the sand traps. Both girls especially like raking the traps!

But, this running to the ball, stopping to hit it, then running again is the perfect remedy for a sound night’s sleep, according to Alyssa’s mother. Laura told me that whenever Alyssa plays golf with me she sleeps like a brick that night!

In the Book of Proverbs, chapter 17, verse 6, it reads, Grandchildren are the crown of the aged.” I can hear the affirmative "Amen!" from the grandparents reading this article.

Both my wife and I had close relations with a grandparent which helped enormously to formulate our personalities as well as our appreciation for life in general. I want to have a powerful positive effect on my grandchildren. That’s a legacy worth investing in!

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