Many years ago, the pastor at the church I attended and I were having a conversation. I was in seminary at the time and he was helping me with some thoughts on a particular class. A little out of the blue he offered this advice…”If I could do one thing over again, I would have spent more time with my children when they were younger.” It took me a while to get that, but I did. My career decisions became much more based on how it would affect time with my children than how it affected my career. As with all things, there are pluses and minuses to making any choice, but truly, that plus, is to have had time with my children that I would never have been able to get back.
My son and I had planned earlier this summer to celebrate his birthday by traveling up into the great state of Washington and playing a golf course, “Chambers Bay”. It’s not something that we would typically splurge on, but it was for his birthday. So, early yesterday morning, I picked up my very good friend, Jim, then my son Aaron, and we drove north for a most spectacular day. I really don’t want to sound like I’m giving a plug for a particular golf course, but Chambers Bay is something special. It was built on a property that is between a 1000 ft cliff and the shores of the Puget Sound. You can stand at the pro shop at the top of the cliff and see the complete golf course, and follow people as they make their way around the golf course. While we were playing, the only sounds to be heard were the seagulls, a rare train, a rare airplane, the water washing ashore, and the not so crisp sounds of my golf club just barley making contact with the ball. At the end of the day, I shared with Aaron how much his grandfather, my dad, would have enjoyed this day.
As with so many other sons, my father introduced me to the game of golf. I caddied for him, learned from him, played with him. Much of my love for sports came to me from my father, and golf was the one thing we played together. I have so many fond memories of my father centered around trying to hit a ball. The downside of golf is that it takes 4 to 5 hours to play. When you get a chance to play with your father, or as in yesterday, your son, the great thing about golf is that it can take 4 to 5 hours to play.
The lesson re-learned yesterday….we can never, ever, ever, spend too much time with the ones we love. Whether it is golf, knitting, hiking, sitting, movie watching, reading a paper together, working cross-word puzzles, WHATEVER it might be. Vow to yourself that you will in the next few weeks spend some time doing something with someone you love…before that chance is gone.
AND….for heave’s sake….have fun….Fred