I have gained a new title in my Mom Career; it’s been an elusive one for me. I am a sports mom; specifically, I am a newly minted Golf Mom.
My sons have never been big into sports. It’s not for lack of trying on my husband and my parts; we tried soccer, baseball, gymnastic, and archery; we even thought we might have a Fencer, but no, the kids did not want any part of it. While I wasn’t too upset by it, in as far as giving up my Saturday mornings or racing across town in mid-week traffic to get to/from practice, I did feel I was missing out on some part of the “mom” experience. A little bit of guilt was always lurking deep in the back of my mind, worried that I was somehow short-changing my kids. However, I knew my sons would hate every minute of whatever sport we pushed them into, nor would they experience any of the benefits of playing the game. So, we slept in on Saturday mornings, perfected pancake recipes, and relaxed. I was not to be any kind of a “Sports Mom,” and I was ok with it.
I would sit at coffee with friends listening to them lament the loss of entire weekends after a week of driving to/from practices in the worst of traffic. The constant checking of weather reports and the gossip about the mom who came with a thermos full of cosmos…I mean pink lemonade. I empathize with their loss of time but caught the undertone of pride coloring their complaints. I envied the quality of relationships these woman shared, forged in the trenches of being “sports” moms. I would leave with conflicting emotions weaving through my thoughts. Resulting in an inevitable anxiety-filled conversation with my athletic husband. A conversation bound to be overheard and interrupted at the most inopportune time by one of our rather opinionated sons whose outraged arguments against sports were robust, loud, and unchanging. Sigh!
However, all that changed this spring. We decided to send our second son to our neighborhood high school. This son had enjoyed P.E. at his last school and showed athletic ability, but asthma sidelined his enthusiasm. Yet he talked about wanting to do a sport all fall; he wasn’t a big team sports guy but liked the camaraderie a team provided, but enjoyed competing on an individual level. So when the spring sports list came out, lo and behold, we found the golf team.
It is a small group, but the kids and parents support each other’s needs and talents. Our team is not the source for future professional golfers, but it is a good start for the kids to learn a game that can be played throughout life.
My son is one of the younger ones who doesn’t drive, so I drive him to golf courses far and wide in traffic. I love it. I love the beautiful atmosphere of the golf course. I love being able to get coffee in the clubhouse in the cool afternoons of spring. My youngest and I explore the course while the team practices on the driving range. We look for rabbits, foxes, and the occasional deer. Golf practice is a peaceful way to end a busy day.
All was blissful until the first match; it went long into the evening. It was cold, and it was getting harder to keep quiet on my son’s stance. I think my lip bleed, biting it to keep quiet. At one match, I asked the coach if I should rent a cart considering the size of the course. He said, I only recommend it if parents can resist the urge to comment. Knowing this was going to be a long match due to the sprawled out landscape of the course, with vast opportunities to offer unsolicited advice, I decided against renting a cart. My son had an odd look in his eye upon hearing the news, was that elation I saw in those dark brown eyes? Narrowing my eyes at him only garnered me a gleeful smile and pat on the back as he grabbed his bag on his way to the first tee. I hung out until they walked out of view and reviewed my options. We were too far to go home and come back, so I decided to camp out in the clubhouse. I hadn’t realized this clubhouse came with a full kitchen, an extensive menu, fresh-brewed coffee, and friendly staff, along with tables placed in front of glass walls with beautiful views of the greens and trees as far as the eye could see. At that moment, as I stood looking out at the magnificent view on a chilly spring afternoon, I swear I heard the held “ahhhh” note of angels singing. I had found the holy grail of kids’ sports!
I sat down in a comfortable chair, with the steam of my hot mug of perfectly brewed French Roast coffee warming my face. I took in the rare quiet moment and the beauty of the scene a mother of three rarely gets to enjoy for more than a nanosecond and let out a long deep breath.
My Mom guilt quickly kicked in for not being on the green to watch my son play but then I remembered back to all the uncomfortable chairs in the waiting area of gymnastics, trying not to gag from the aroma of smelly socks left in the nearby cubbies. The sweltering days at the baseball field watching my child in a black uniform be absolutely miserable the entire time. My mind quickly tried to tamp down the guilt with these justifications. In the end, as my chicken piccata on a penne pasta arrived to distract me from my private guilt trip, I decided to live with it. After all, my son looked happy I wasn’t going to be out on the course offering advice. I should just enjoy the gift of this beautiful calm for all too soon we would be in evening commute traffic. It was like a mini mom retreat in the middle of the week.
Going to different golf courses was like discovering hidden gems I had no idea existed in our area, and I enjoyed them. Likewise, my son enjoyed the team and finding out he had a skill for the long drive.
Yet still, I didn’t fit in with the “sport” moms. I wasn’t sweating it out on weekends at swim team meets or baseball diamonds or freezing in an Ice hockey arena. Indeed, I was not in the trenches of weather and smelly uniforms, but I could relate to horrendous weeknight traffic. After the initial inquiry about life as a “golf” mom and the stunned expression faded, I quickly learned they had relegated me to Non- sports Mom status. I am good with it. Now, instead of being conflicted, I sit with my coffee mug, hiding my grin as I listen empathetically to their woes.
I think of them while I wait in the warm clubhouse enjoying the view and sipping my coffee. As much as I like my time on the course, I love hearing the tone in my son’s voice when he finds me to go; I know on the way home, he will either excitedly share about his improved skill or a funny story of a missed shot.
I am a Golf Mom.