Thursday, June 28, 2007

Mountain, move!

Sometimes the coolest things happen.

LB1 wanted to go to our local Kids College this summer because they had a week-long golf clinic, as well as a tennis clinic. We encouraged him to do so, so off he and his siblings went, every day, to this program. LB1's portion of the program finished just before we were to pick him up for a weekend visit.

LB1 has just turned 11. He is smart, has a great personality, and is lots of fun. He gets along well with people, and meets them straight up. He is always up for another challenge.

On a recent Saturday, I called and asked to pick him up, and we planned to surprise MLH. We're driving down the road to do so, and I'm asking LB1 about Kids College. I realized he was trying to be polite, but that something was bothering him. I somehow asked him the right question, and everything just came tumbling out of his mouth. Imagine my chagrin when I found out that his fellow golfers at the clinic made fun of him and were mean to both LB1 and another fledgling golfer, all week long. I mean, we had encouraged him to participate. Most of the other golfers had their own clubs, and had been playing golf for years. LB1 didn't have any clubs, nor did the other youngster.

I was grieved. I know kids can be mean - I was a kid once. But this was supposed to be a supervised program!

Going on about our day, we go find MLH, and LB1 sneaks up on him from behind and gives him a big hug. MLH turns around, with a huge smile plastered across his face. He's glad to see LB1. We go eat lunch, and I encourage LB1 to explain the golf episode to MLH. He does, quickly and succinctly.

Meanwhile, I surreptitiously call our local municipal golf course, and talk to one of the pros. The Junior Golf Program starts Monday – in two days! After calling his mom and obtaining permission, we talk to LB1, and tell him that this clinic will not be like the previous program. LB1 agrees to give it another try. That is one of the reasons I love this kid – he has ears to hear.

I go out and sign him up, talk to the pros, and listen to how the program works. I pick up a schedule for LB1's mom.

I meet LB1 and his Mom at the golf course on Monday, and am amazed to watch LB1 walk right up to the three pros, head on, eye to eye contact, introduce himself, and shake their hands. What a great little man he is! Lots of the kids had their own clubs, but there were just as many that didn't. The clinic provides clubs for those who need them, and after the first week of lessons, the junior golfers play a round of golf every Thursday until the end of July. The program culminates in a Junior Golf Tourney.

One of the pros told me that he would personally take LB1 under his wing, and did so.

We called a couple of times during the week to check on LB1's progress, and he assured us he was having a great time. On the last day of the clinic, we made sure LB1 participated in the Junior Club Fit Clinic, and on the Monday following, his own set of clubs were delivered to the pro shop. Monday wasn't going to come quick enough for LB1!

Today, LB1 called while I was in a meeting and left a message, in a very excited voice:
(the spaces are exactly as they happened in his dialogue.)

"Ummm, this is LB1, and I was just calling to ask you…I mean, tell you (giggle) that today at the tournament, our team won first place and I got an awesome hat!

And my clubs are beautiful, and they are working for me terrifically.

Ummmm… that is all and…I was just calling because I wanted to tell you that…and my number is…oh, and, thank you, Steve, for so much, and Miss Janie, for letting me get into this golf thing. Ummmm….and I will…ummmm… if you will call me back in a little bit, okay? Bye…(laughing)!"

LB1, you just keep telling those mountains to move, dude.


Bob said...

Self confidence is one of the greatest gifts you can give. There will always be the snoots who think they need to put others down to prove they are better. One of my greatest pleasures is knocking them off their pedestal. To inspire the disadvantaged, to help them understand that they can be better than the snoots is a great way of doing that.

Panhandle Poet said...

Great story. Major impact in that youngsters life. Way to go.

Eric said...

Very cool. And when he's breaking Tiger's record for majors wins, he'll remember to give you proper credit. ;-)

Pancho said...

I'm going to call you the next time I accomplish something! I need my self confidence boosted too! :>]

Karen said...

I love this story. You are making such an impact on this young person's life. I know he'll be someone to watch in the future, doing something great with his life.

Janie said...

All - he's a cool kid, as are all of our Littles. We are so proud of LB1 - it took guts to go back and conquer that bad experience. He did it.

Thanks for your comments and encouragement!

Rach said...

It's so sad the way children bully each other but what an awesome thing you did for him! Props to him as well!