The thought never would have occurred to me.
The teen behind the cash register at the
local Sport’s Emporium asked, “Are you going to keep score or not?” and I said, “Yes.” This
was after we picked our ball colors, before we chose our clubs.
“Western theme or Castle?” she asked.
“Castle,” I said, which is what we’d agreed on, although I
knew my eight-year-old son was awful curious about the Western course. She reached into a bin and handed me a piece
of card stock folded with a sharpened golf pencil tucked inside. Between the folds were tidy squares for
keeping score and the par expectations for each hole.
Leaving behind the video games, laser tag and AC, we set out
across a concrete wasteland toward the putt-putt courses. Alone with our older two kids for the night,
we were happy to be doing something that would’ve been impossible with two four
year olds in tow. Sophia and Solomon
loped along, their spindly legs flashing new sneakers, hers a neon sherbet and
his navy blue.
We were sweating already and yawning in the early evening
light, but strategically placed waterfalls and a breeze pulled us up the hill
toward hole #1. The cashier had planted a seed in my mind and so I asked my husband, “Do we want to keep
“Do you guys want to keep score?” John asked the kids.
“No,” they called back over their shoulders. So we didn’t.
The tidy little pencil and its accompanying card stayed buried in my
bag. It was a good thing, because right
off the bat at hole #1, Sophia’s sent her ball flying directly into the
water. We laughed and, noting how hot it
was and how far away replacement balls were located, fished the ball out of the
“Can I try again?” she asked. Of course.
And so it went. Two
gawky kids in new sneakers and two almost forty parents spinning along through
18 holes of minor mishaps and triumphs.
We took turns, mostly, and refrained from “walking the ball” when a shot
proved too tough, mostly. Solomon
consistently sent other people’s balls flying with inadvertent taps from his
big, new shoes. He tripped over his own
club at least twice and, around hole #10, sent his own ball arcing though the
air into the water. We all gave-up at
one point or another and then, at the next hole, got back into the game again.
We had fun, which was the point.
Around hole #15 it dawned on me that perhaps, because we
weren’t keeping score, we weren’t really trying. Then I got a little tense and tried to focus
on the shot at hand. It didn’t seem to
make a difference.
I realized then that
I was trying, only my effort was turned in a different direction – away from
perfection and accomplishment, toward fun and enjoyment. As far as I know, there isn’t a score card
* * * *
Only 10 spaces left! I’m super excited to be joining with Andi Cumbo-Floyd and Shawn Smucker to organize a weekend writer’s retreat this summer at God’s Whisper Farm in the beautiful mountains of Virginia. Visit Andi’s website for more info!
Welcome to the #SmallWonder link-up.
What if we chose to deliberately look for small moments of wonder, the small sparks of presence, of delight or sorrow, of true humanity in which we meet God?
That’s my proposal – that we gather here each week to share one moment of Wonder from each of our days. You’re invited to link-up a brief post about a small moment of wonder. Don’t worry if your post is too long, too short, or not just right – you’re welcome to come as you are.
While you’re here, please do take a look around and encourage at least one other blogger with a comment.