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FATHERS AND SONS: The Day When You Look Up To Your Kids

dominic wadeThere will come a time when my son will be taller than me. If the ‘double their height at age 2′ rule is true, then Zacharie will top out over 6 feet while I try to scrape 5’10”.

But you don’t have to wait for your kid to be taller than you to look up to them.

Last moth I was in the UK with Team Diabetes running a Half Marathon in Edinburgh. My travel from London to Edinburgh was chaotic when 191 flights were cancelled out of Heathrow and, faced with at least a 30hr delay before a new flight could be found, I decided to take the train.

While waiting in line for luggage, I started talking with a father and his son. Mike would give Dominic leash to run around the terminal and would get worried when his 5th grader didn’t come back in “exactly 10 minutes.”

Dominic would then quietly peck away at his smart phone playing games before asking curious questions about the delay and when we might be getting on our way.

Eventually we decided to form an Amazing Race styled alliance in the face of our travel troubles and spent the next 18 hours chasing cabs, pulling luggage through the London rain, and taking overnight trains, trying to get to Edinburgh.

We didn’t move quickly through the stations, Dominic and Mike’s luggage was much more than mine. They had 2 backpacks, 2 suitcases, and golf clubs. Of course, St Andrews is right outside Edinburgh, so I figured dad would be hitting the links.

But the clubs weren’t his. They belonged to Dominic. A typical curious, adventurous, well-behaved 5th grader who just happens to absolutely crush the ball.

Dominic is still not even close to being taller or bigger than his dad, he’d be lucky to top 80 pounds, but Dominic still beats his dad on the golf course.

“The old course,” Dominic started when we were talking about golf in the cab on the way to catch a train. “Is that the one that you were in all the bunkers on?”

If it were me making the question, it would be a shot in the ribs at Mike, a needle about his last round. But Dominic was honest. The kid has game, but is level headed and naive and raw and pure.

There will come a time when your kids will be taller than you, stronger than you, more athletic that you. For some of us it won’t be until they’re teens, for others, an 11 yr old will show you how to play golf. What matters though, in all of this, is the character you give your kids. What a pleasure it was to spend a crazy day traveling around the English countryside with this father and son – they gave me a peek at what I hope will be my own future.

Sure, it would be nice to have a champion golfer for a kid, but that’s not what I’m looking forward to. There will be a day he is taller and stronger than me, and I will have to literally look up at him, but as Dom and Mike showed, the day when I look up to him can come much sooner.

Image via Dominic Wade

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