Best. Father's. Day. Ever.
Some of my past Father's Days were great, and really, none of them was bad. There were a few years in which Father's Day was the day after the Wasatch Back and I was a zombie after getting so little sleep from the 30-hour relay -- I barely remember those. My first Father's Day as a father was great -- we took Michael to Jackson Hole. I think Lori got me an iPod the next year. Last year, we hit the driving range and also watched "Iron Man 2" (which, now that I think about it, doesn't seem that long ago). And golf seems to be a theme, not just today, but also in 2008.
However, this Father's Day is one I won't forget. The family gave me some great presents -- three board games (including a used Stratego from 1962), a new wallet and a used driver and fairway wood. We went to the Original Pancake House, where I was adventurous and tried the ham, egg and cheese waffle sandwich (it was OK, I wasn't quite sure how to eat it). After arriving home, Ben and I played Ticket to Ride and watched a little of the Cubs game. We as a family went to the driving range then, for the first time since last year when my driver fell apart and I could barely hit a good shot on my bum knee.
Michael was really get into the golf practice, Ben was also liking hitting balls, and I was at least doing better than last year. We were at a range next to a par-33 9-hole course, and Michael started begging me to actually play a round. He wasn't hitting the ball that far, so I suggested we find a par-3, and Lori recommended we go to Mick Riley Golf Course in Murray, where she and I used to golf often pre-kids. The course has a par-3 layout and a full-length nine, and we were able to get on the par-3 almost right away. Despite Michael whining that we didn't get a car (he just wanted to drive it), I was excited to take him golfing for the first time.
We had a lot of fun. He did all right, never hitting the ball too far, but never getting discouraged, either. Lori and Ben walked the first two holes with us, and we let Ben play the second hole, and he actually didn't too bad either, though he listened to none of the etiquette rules we told him (that will come -- I'm hoping with practice, I can take both boys by the end of the summer). I did find myself saying the same things my dad would say to me when we golfed in my youth: "Don't leave your bag in front of the green."; "If you hit a bad shot, go up and hit it again."; "Keep your head down, slow backswing." But he never irritated me on the course, and I know he was having a blast. He finished with a 63; I struggled to a 47 and missed a birdie putt on the last hole. Afterward, we hit the clubhouse for a much deserved snack.
The rest of the night was uneventful. I grilled steaks, and we watched "Field of Dreams." I talked with my dad finally after he called during golf (and I missed him on the phone this morning), and I took Popcorn for a 3-mile walk. The dog relies on me just as the kids do, so it was a fitting end to Father's Day.