My daughter went to college.
She took decorative things to hang on the wall so she would feel like it was home.
She took my electric skillet, our only working toaster, and some of our money.
She took 12 shades of brown eye shadow, twice that many shoes, and enough shirts to adequately clothe a small Portuguese village.
While living away from home, spending our money, using our toaster, and sharing clothes with her roommates, she studied golf, which, she informed me, required another pair of shoes.
We kind of thought we sent her to this prestigious university to learn a valuable skill. Accounting might have been valuable. There could have been some value in business management or nursing or finding a rich husband. She learned golf. I mean really?
She majors in recreational management, which means she teaches people how to play. Actually, she’s a natural at this type of teaching. When my children were little and I was under the impression I could actually train them to work, I would have them mop the floor. As the oldest, Alexis would put her siblings on a wet towel and pull them around the room. I’d want to complain about their work ethic, but it actually does a pretty good job on the floor. When I asked her to weed the garden, she would get the neighbor girl to do the work in exchange for a lesson on trampoline flip tricks.
I have nothing against golf. It’s played on lovely green grass that I don’t personally have to mow. And you get to hear intelligent, educated people have sincere discussions with a white ball.
But my daughter likes golf. She likes it so much she carried her clubs home for the summer and wanted me to watch her practice at the driving range. So in the interest of being a good mom and because it wasn’t raining or anything, I went.
Shuffling toward the tee box ahead of us was a woman who looked to be on the other side of 100-years-old. Her skin was paper thin and wrinkle. Her tiny little steps were less energetic than the shaking of her hands and the trembling of her head. When she stepped onto the green synthetic turf of her driving range box, I was scared she would stumble. A younger companion placed a ball on the tee and the elderly golfer squared up to swing.
Her shaking stop. Her hands gripped the shaft with familiarity and confidence.
When she swung, her swing was steady and confident. The ball flew straight. Not as far as my daughter’s, but straighter.
For 30 minutes she hit ball after ball. Without a tremor. We couldn’t help but stare as did the other golfers.
The woman finished her bucket of balls, handed the driver back to her companion, looked up and smiled.
“Muscle memory,” she said. “Gotta love it.”
We all watched her shuffle back to the car. I pulled a club out of my daughter’s bag.
“Teach me,” I said.