It has been a long time since I had played a round of golf, so I was quite nervous turning up to my local golf club again. It felt like I had not been there in years, and then I realized it had been 2 years since I had stepped foot there! Life really does change when you become a parent.

At the age of 4 I suppose Isaac is still a bit young to play golf, but I was too excited to wait any longer. Luckily Isaac shares his Dad’s enthusiasm no matter where we are, such as when we went quad bike riding, and so he was excited and ready to go.

When we entered the club it was exactly as I remembered it. I was taken back immediately to the last time I was there. My brother George and I had played a game of golf when he came down with his wife to stay with us. Before that, we were regular players. I remember we always planned a trip to the Hawaiian golf courses. I am still waiting for that to happen.

Bill, the owner, was as welcoming as ever and it was so great to see him again. He wanted to know everything about what I had been up to in the last few years, and as usual when I told him I was a stay a home Dad now, I felt a bit of the misconceptions of stay at home Dad’s were there. However, these were lighthearted and I know him and that he would never mean any harm.

It was just as interesting to learn about what he had been up to. He and his wife had purchased a large property two hours away from the golf course. That meant a two hour commute there and back each day for Bill. This reminded me of the promises I made when Isaac was born! I am so glad that is not me.

Bill was just as enthusiastic to show us all the new things about the club. They had purchased some new GPS rangefinders. Isaac loved to play with these gadgets, although I had never seen them before. Bill said they wanted the best GPS rangefinder for their course. They looked expensive so I encourage him not touch. I did not want to foot the bill for that!

The course was exactly the same as I remembered it, and it really did feel like stepping back in time. I hired some clubs because I had sold mine a year back as I just was not using them. My swing was a little (okay, very) wobbly at first but I quickly got back into it. I remembered exactly why I love golf.

Naturally Isaac wanted a turn as soon as I took a swing, and it took him 4 times to hit the ball correctly. I think he might need to read up on some tips. The only problem is that he can’t read yet.

Playing golf was something I really missed doing since becoming a parent, but today made me realize that I do not have to miss out on doing the things that I love. Now that Isaac is almost at an age where he can learn to play too, I see golf becoming a part of my life again and a great way for us to bond.

It is an exciting time for me now that Isaac is almost five years old. The last few months have been especially busy. We have had so much to organize for Isaac including his schooling which has been an absolute nightmare. I have been reading a lot about choosing a school. Who knew it would be so tough to find a great school to send your kid to. We did find a great school though and I think he will really enjoy his time there.

Before he begins his schooling I wanted to do something special with him. It has been a while since we both bonded as father and son. I mean, we do get a lot of time together, but with family coming and going as they always have it is difficult to find some quality bonding time. That is when my wife suggested that we take a trip over to my brothers up north for the weekend.

My brother lives up in Montana and is lucky enough to own land of several acres. He takes advantage of this by owning some of the coolest toys that you could buy. I love taking the quad bike for a ride whenever I go there and do not find a chance any other time. But with land comes a lot of work. This often stops me from visiting because whenever I go, there is always something to do!

So it was decided that Isaac and I would spend a long weekend with my brother. It was great to see Isaac so excited about something so simple, and it is hard not to get excited yourself. A kids enthusiasm is contagious! I also did some reading on other things to do in Montana.

We left early Friday morning to take advantage of the time we had together. We stopped over at a roadhouse to get a quick breakfast and then made our way for the next three hours. I can see what people mean when they say kids are annoying to drive with. Maybe time just feels differently to kids, but I don’t see how asking “are we there yet” every five minutes could make the trip any quicker!

When we did get there it was excellent to see George. He has two sons of his own and it had been a while since Isaac had seen them, so it was interesting to see how he interacts with children differently now.

As I predicted, as soon as we got there we were told how much work there was to be done. The whole area needed clearing as George was putting in a new fence. I was shocked by how much had been done since last time though. He did not seem to remember how it looked. Sometimes it is difficult to know exactly what things looked like before when you have been involved in the entire process.

I still wanted to spend some quality time with Isaac. Isaac had never ridden (or even seen) a quad bike in his life so you can imagine the surprise on his face when he saw it. It was like one of his toys coming to life, and he thought it was like magic the way it moved.

I was a bit worried about having him so young on the quad but my worries were unfounded (as they often are). It was very safe as we only went at a low speed and on flat ground. I even got to the point where I was confident enough to let him take control of the quad bike.

That night George’s wife cooked a beautiful dinner and we all ate it outside under the stars around a fire. It was pretty cold but the warm fire and dinner made it feel perfect. It reminded me of times when I was a young, and I realized that I need to see George more often.

The next day was all work. It was great to see Isaac working hard and he was enthusiastic towards everything. I hope that attitude sticks especially when he gets to school. He is a lot more confident than I was at his age and I hope that serves him well at school.

We left George on Sunday morning and stopped back at the same roadhouse on the way back. The same lady served us and it was quite funny to update her about where we had been. Isaac did most of the talking and was so excited to tell her all about the quad bike and how he drove it himself. At the risk of being seen as a bad parent I quickly said that he did not ride it by himself.

When we got home I heard the same story told to him Mom in almost exactly the same words. I was pretty exhausted. Being alert driving the whole time and taking care of a child definitely wares you out, but it, and it was a wonderful way to bond with Isaac and catch up with my brother again.

In May of 2012, we welcomed a very special person into our lives. Our son Isaac was born and our lives became richer because of him.

My wife Gabriella and I married in June 2010, and made no secret of the fact that we wanted a family. There was no urgency for this to happen, but we both knew we wanted it to happen, and so we never officially tried for a baby. We just decided that when it is right, it will happen.

And it did. We found out in August of 2011 that Gabriella was pregnant, and the whole family was thrilled. This was to be the third grandchild for our parents, and already having two grandsons.

Gabriella had a rough pregnancy and was actually sick for most of the nine months. Do not believe people when they say “morning sickness”. It was just sickness. Constantly. I hope what a friend said about the first child being the worst is true because I would hate for her to go through this again, although I have heard the opposite from others! If it happens again we might try some of these tips.

Isaac was born right on his due date, and luckily the birth was complication free. We had all the support of our family and friends and could not have been luckier during this time.

Before Isaac was born, we had two names in mind – Jeff for a boy and Jane for a girl. We did not have a scan of the sex of the baby when Gabriella was pregnant, so we had no idea what to expect and were prepared for either.

Once we saw Isaac, we knew both names would not do. We actually waited a week until we named him Isaac, in the meantime referring to him as Bubs. That name still sticks.

As we did not know Isaac would be a boy, we had bought relatively neutral clothes, although there was a pink suit or two. I for one had no problem dressing Isaac in pink, and I found it was funny that people thought he was a girl based only on the color he was wearing. This really had me think about our preconceptions of colors and gender and has fascinated me since.

I have learned so much myself and life from becoming a parent, and I want to share that with the world. I hope we can use this space to enlighten and share our journeys with each other and I look forward to hearing from you all.