Two of Kristin’s three boys were in a golf clinic this summer at Woodland Country Club. Connor and Carter have been busy on the course trying to learn to play golf a little better than they have in the past. And tonight was the banquet for the finale of the season.
Normally, I am not a big fan of this stuff. I attended my share of banquets when our own kids were younger and I can’t believe that now I am now going through another generation of the same thing. So, in all honesty, I was dreading the event this evening a little more than I wanted to let on. Somehow, on the way to the Club, I thought about all the times that I had been disappointed with the way sports banquets are usually flow. They start late, they are poorly executed, kids are running around everywhere, the food is horrible – I could go on and on, but you get the idea…
Anyway, I left downtown around 5:45 pm and headed north on Meridian Street, deciding to bypass the expressways in favor of the side streets. It gave me a chance to chill out a little and by the time I arrived at the Club, I was in a pretty mellow state of mind. Tomorrow is a somewhat easy day with limited appointments and I teach our Bible group at 7:15 Thursday night. As I arrived, and walked to the patio, where the banquet was being held, it happened that the rest of the family was just getting ready to go through the buffet line. Janet, Kristin, the three boys and I paraded right through and headed to a table that Kristin had found, so we were off to a smooth start.
Kind of a kid’s menu sort of thing – hamburgers, hot dogs, salad, and cookies for dessert. About thirty minutes after dinner was served, the program was on – and it ran like clockwork. I mean it was like a precision military exercise. Names called, ribbons for the lower placed kids, then medals for the next few places, and trophies for the winners of each individual category – boys and girls, age groups, etc. It was awesome. The program only lasted about 15 minutes, was laid back, and then, by 7:00 pm, it was over – a done deal.
The weather was great, food was terrific and the program flawless. That’s what I call a banquet. To make things even better, Carter, who played in the youngest group, got a ribbon for his efforts this summer. Connor, the oldest boy, received something akin to an Olympic medal. A red, white and blue ribbon with a medal attached. He was jazzed and proudly wore his prize around his neck. Of course, the boys were proud that they had won awards and I was pleased that everyone was having such a good time, even if nobody in the family won a first place trophy.
As I looked around our table, I was struck by how much fun we had together this evening, and how we get along so well most of the time. It seems that things are a little easier with our grandchildren that they were with our kids. Maybe I am just getting older and am a little more removed from the day to day responsibilities of raising children. That time has come and gone for Janet and me, although I don’t think we will ever stop trying to be good examples for the rest of the family. Or just maybe, the traits that we instilled in our children took root and are now being used to train the next generation. I admit, as I looked around the patio, the boys seemed to be very well behaved and Kristin was clearly in control of what was going on. When I try to look at her objectively, it’s tough for me. But tonight, for some inexplicable reason, I really saw her as a mom rather than as our daughter. It felt kind of weird…
The verse for tonight is one that is rather well known. From Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” My encouragement is that you will continue to be a model of good behavior for your kids – regardless of whether they are still young, or getting older. In fact, Janet’s folks are still an example for their three girls, and my father-in-law celebrates his 91st birthday on Thursday. I hope that I can do the same thing with my kids. My prayer is that God will continue to lead you in the paths of righteousness so you can pass on Godly traits to your family. Oh, and the winner tonight? I am – being part of a God centered family, open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. What an awesome privilege. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace… and Happy Birthday, John. Keep being the great example you have been… You never know who is watching how you parent, at any age.