I wish you could have seen my daughter “playing” putt-putt when she was six or so, but you would have needed a helmet and safety goggles. I definitely could have used your help retrieving balls from the parking lot, though.
She was like a 3.5-foot tornado. She held her club like an ax and hacked and swung until there was an empty radius around her because everyone could see they were seconds away from a club to the chin.
I tried to teach her. I tried patiently and….less patiently.
Me: “This is how you hold a club. See how this hand is above the other?”
Her: Not interested.
Me: “Swing it in an arc, gently.”
Her: Don’t care.
Me, sweating: “OMG LOOK. Your basic goal is to keep it on the green stuff and eventually get it in the hole.”
Her: Whatever. This is how I play it. Hack, whack, another ball bouncing beyond the fence.
We had to leave before any humans, miniature windmills, or vehicles were injured in the making of these family memories.
I think back to it often, though, for two reasons:
This child was born stubborn and my parenting can’t be blamed for *all* of it.
This is what ->I<- look like when I refuse to have a teachable spirit.
It’s so me when I’m head-strong and don’t want to hear from anyone who doesn’t back me up, even with good advice.
It’s so me when I’m frustrated in faith and I want to shut down all the voices and prefer to think I’m the one who has it right.
It’s so me when I don’t want to give someone a chance because I assume I already know exactly what they are going to think/say/do. (I’m much more guilty of this one than I like to admit).
It’s so me when I hit a wall but refuse to change, so I just hit it again.
I’m NOT saying I have to be just like someone else, but sometimes it’s a good idea to stop hacking the AstroTurf and shut up and listen for a hot minute.
None of us has everything right. None of us can’t learn something from someone else.
That image of my daughter that sunny, sticky afternoon reminds me to keep humility closer than I want to. It reminds me that I’m not going to get where I want to be if I refuse to listen and learn, and if I don’t risk failing. (Because, honestly, that’s likely what drove my girl’s defiance that day: learning another way was difficult and awkward and would require a lot of failed attempts.)
But if I don’t have enough humility to be teachable, I’m missing out on so much more, exhausting myself on swinging empty arcs and chasing my mistakes.