Many, many moons ago – about fifteen years’ worth – John and I often played golf together, a beloved hobby that fell to the wayside once reproduction of offspring began. We were newly married, with fulltime careers, and the weekends were ours for any activity of our choosing. We worked hard and played hard, enjoying all the freedoms available to lovesick newlyweds mercifully unaware of the abrupt manner in which our weekends would change in just a few, short years.
During those carefree, oblivious days, when we had more time on our hands than sense, we often met up with good friends, Kevin and Amy, for a round of golf. We played at all different kinds of courses, riding along in our respective golf carts, enjoying the sunshine and banter the afternoon would bring. Afterwards, we would dine at the closest Mexican restaurant, recounting the shots that ended up in the water (mine) or those closest to the hole (Amy’s). Cheese dip dribbled down our chins and margaritas down our throats as we laughed about the antics of the day, promising to meet up the next weekend to do it all over again. Golf. Sunshine. Laughter. Mexican food.
Life was good.
That first year of marriage found us living in Atlanta. I was a first year teacher, and John was in his second year of medical practice. We were the only DINKS of the neighborhood – Double Income, No Kids – and never quite understood the looks of longing from our neighbors as they wrestled double strollers up the steep hills or pushed the baby swing for hours on end because it was the only method that momentarily stopped the crying. John and I would happily jog by the other families in our neighborhood, waving and smiling with energy to spare, as we wondered aloud to each other about the dark circles under one mom’s eyes and the slumped shoulders of her worn out spouse.
“Don’t they know it’s Saturday?” we would say to one another. “It’s a beautiful day!” we would continue in our oblivious enthusiasm, blissfully ignorant of the sleepless nights endured by our neighbors or the bone weary feeling that comes with changing hundreds of diapers a week and playing peek-a-boo so many times your body parts are numb.
Clueless. It’s the only way to describe us at that time.
It would be several years before understanding took place, the scales falling from our naive eyes the moment our newborn’s wails kept us both up that first terrorizing night. Looking like deer caught in headlights, we would push our baby in the stroller, limply waving at our neighbors who couldn’t help but smirk that our bright-eyed and bushy-tailed appearances had been replaced with dark circles and slumped shoulders.
“Don’t you know it’s Saturday?” yelled one neighbor. “It’s a beautiful day!” continued another. Greetings well deserved as we stumbled home in t-shirts stained with regurgitated formula and refluxed baby slobber.
As much as we loved playing golf together, it was one of the first things to go when DINKhood was exchanged for parenthood. It was difficult to find the time to devote to the practice range or the four hours necessary for eighteen holes. Periodically, and in between call duty at the hospital or diaper duty at home, John would play with some of his buddies. Every once in a while, I would play nine holes with a friend while the children were at mother’s morning out. But, it never was quite the same as the happy-go-lucky days that defined our early years on the golf course.
This summer we boldly ventured onto the golf course as a family of five. We loaded up two golf carts with four bags of clubs and a six-year-old, pony-tailed driver. It was a beautiful afternoon, full of laughter and joy that gave us a glimpse of the outings ahead of us on those manicured greens. Afterwards, we dined at a local Mexican restaurant, recounting the shots that almost hit Daddy (Chandler) and those closest to the woods (Chase). Cheese dip dribbled down our chins as we laughed about the antics of the day, promising to soon do it all over again.
Golf. Sunshine. Laughter. Mexican food.
Life is good.
Chase setting up the shot.
An arm cast was not going to stop him from swinging.
Pony-tailed driver and unsolicted photographer.
Mary Mac's photos of our backsides.
"Mary Mac! Are you playing with my camera?"
Sand traps are frustrating.
Actions shots by Mary Mac.