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My kids are 18 and 21, no longer live with me, so it’s a real blessing when I get the opportunity to spend time with them.  Even better is when I get to spend time with them because they have sought me out.  That’s the way it was this week.

Both are different in their motivation, each unique.  My son likes sports, is on the golf team at the community college he attends, and he likes it when I foot the bill.  The daughter, on the other hand, is like a lot of daughters in that she just wants me to know that she likes me and always makes sure that we spend time together when she is in town.  Of course, she also likes Lou Malnatis pizza and books, so I think that helps her want to see her dad.  I buy and I always read along with her!

This past Sunday and Monday, my son and I travelled to Arcadia, Michigan for a round of golf at Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course.  I booked a room for Sunday night at the Bluffs Lodge, right on the golf course.  As we arrived at the course Sunday evening, we were treated to a spectacular view of the sunset from the bluffs above Lake Michigan.  Our jaws dropped as we drove along the unbelievably beautiful golf course to the club house and lodge, checked our clubs at the bag drop, dropped our things off in the spacious room, then had dinner in the clubhouse restaurant.  The view of the lake and the rosy sunset as we ate dinner seemed to make everything taste better.  The hospitality had already been outstanding, our golf clubs would be stored overnight and on the golf cart ready for us at our tee time the next morning.  Our room overlooked the golf course, and we sat out on the patio adjoining our room to take in the stars on a cloudless night.  In Chicagoland, even out in the western suburbs where we live, the light pollution is too great to really see the stars.  Later on, the moon lit up the golf course outside of the room, a reason to forego sleep just to enjoy the rare beauty.

Sunday and Monday, I had roughly 11 hours of windshield time with my son, spent 4 hours on the golf course with him, ate meals with him, slept in the same room with him.  It was without a doubt the best time that I have had with him in years.

The golf course was amazing.  I suck at golf, but it didn’t matter.  The scenery was worth the trip alone.  And I played the difficult course fairly well, watched my son shoot 2 over for the round.

This morning at 3, I dropped my daughter off at O’Hare airport.  She is on an airplane destined for Guatemala City, a much anticipated 8 week trip to finish off her student teaching.  My daughter will be teaching at an international Christian school there.  I am encouraged at how prepared she is.  We spent last evening together, her first night staying at my place since I moved in.  Of course, there was the Lou from Lou Malnatis pizza.  The evening closed with tea and conversation on the couch, her bags packed in my car.  At 2:30 this morning, the alarm went off, she freshened up and off we went.

Not before my daughter got to “meet” my unpleasant downstairs neighbor.  As we passed her door on the way to my garage, my neighbor barged out of her front door and started barking at us for flushing the toilet.  I told her that she was being rude and to go back to bed.  My daughter, angry but controlled, told her that she was sorry that the flushing toilet bothered her and excused herself as we were on our way to the airport for her Guatemala trip, letting my neighbor know that she was yelling at my daughter.  I had to go upstairs a minute later to retrieve car keys, made sure that I stomped heavily on my way out the door.  The confrontation only dampened our mood for a minute — we only had a few more minutes together and nothing was going to ruin that.

I dropped my girl off at the terminal, helped her carry her three suitcases to the airline counter, hugged her, tears rolling as I walked away.  She texted me a few minutes later, already at her gate.

Good kid week.  Let’s see how it ends — I am having a party at my place Saturday night!