Interesting day today. I talked with the guy who is in charge of caddies at the golf course that Nate will be caddying at this year, Cantigny. The guy really impressed me. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. The course is one of the best courses in Illinois. I won’t bore you with the details, but I was really encouraged by what the guy left me with – “this is going to be a life changing summer for your son, one that will really mature him. I have seen it happen with countless numbers of kids his age”. Nate has the personality to succeed at this venture because he is one to take initiative, isn’t afraid to call and volunteer, which the guy told me is not only encouraged but is something that will impress. The caddies who show interest get moved to the top of the list.
If I wasn’t convinced before, I definitely am now. Nate needs this experience. He is that age where maturity, emotional maturity, is going to be a key to his success as a boy becoming a man. There are only a few crests to navigate before he is expected to act like a man.
It is also that point where I need to put on my big boy pants and act like a father. Giving my son my time has never been an issue. I have given more time to him than most. What I have lacked in is giving him the quality, have been less of a listener, have not focused enough on teaching him what it takes to be a man. Oh, he has seen a lot of example from me, but there has been more doing than anything else. My influence is going to be needed whether he knows it or not.
I need to be creative in how that influence is given. That mountain bike I bought a few weeks ago is hopefully going to be one tool. Nate is already talking about having the privilege of riding with me. I like that. Last year we played a lot of golf together. I called the caddy supervisor today to find out what will be the best day of the week for me to take Nate away for a few days of guy time, a trip down south a few hours without the girls, to share some time together on the golf course, and hopefully to get down to brass tacks. We need to talk about our girls and other girls, without the girls around. There is a championship caliber course 15 minutes from my parents’ house. Inexpensive. Voila. Guy time made easy.
I want to talk to him about how to deal with me and also with his mother, a big issue right now, and a hurdle he needs to overcome. His mother is not letting go of her boy child easily and I see how much he both hates and loves that. He wants to see a better example from me and we also need to talk about that. We need to talk about the stresses we both go through and will go through. And we just need to have some fun together. Four short years and he will be (hopefully) wanting to leave the nest.