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What a difference in kids between Sean and Jake. Whereas Sean was very anxious about his first day in Golf School, Jake was very excited and animated. I was thinking about what poor Pietro would have to put up with, if and when Jake started to drink coffee in the morning.
"This is going to be so cool," he said as he wolfed down his breakfast.
Sean was excited too, but I think it wasn't just because of the golf. He was excited to have Jake there, but it was really Melissa that was on his mind.
They both looked great in their plaid knee-length Bermuda shorts, golf shirts and Dundolk Golf and Country Club hats as we made our way from the car to the range. Kevin met us as we got to the range. Today would be different for him, as I was sure Jake would add a new dimension to the classes.
"Do you know Tiger Woods?" Jake asked with a big smile on his face.
"I'm a teaching Pro, Jake, not a touring pro. But yes, I have met Tiger Woods," Kevin said as he put his arm around his back and led him to his spot on the range.
Sean followed behind until he saw Melissa coming to the range. He stopped and the two of them greeted each other with a big smile. They then went off together and set themselves up near Jake, with Sean in front of Melissa. He looked over at me and gave me a smile and a thumbs-up when Melissa wasn't looking.
"I decided to join you today before our tee time, Al," Anne said as she came up behind me.
"This should be an interesting day for Kevin with Jake as part of the class," I said as I laughed.
"Now you stop that, Al. You're awful the way you tease him. Jake's a wonderful boy. As a matter of fact, both of them are wonderful young boys. The three of you are going to have a great week together," she said with a smile.
We stayed for 15 minutes, but this time it wasn't to settle the kids into the school, but it was to observe how they were doing. Melissa and Sean were doing very well and Melissa had graduated to hitting off the grass. Jake picked up what Kevin was doing very quickly, as he had the advantage of hitting at the driving range before. But, he was also athletic and a smart boy, in spite of his apparent denseness sometimes.
Anne and I made our way to the first tee and met the Airdons, who were our playing partners for the round. Mara and her brother Jackson were with the Blacks shopping in Naples.
"All Mara could talk about last night when we were on our way home was Jake and how much she liked him. I hope you're coming to the dance tonight with the boys?" Louise Airdon asked.
"We are, but I have to do my Arthur Murray impression first. I have to give some dance lessons to two young space cadets, before I let them loose on the dance floor. They told me last night they had never danced touching a girl before," I said as we all laughed.
"Just make sure Arthur Murray saves lots of dances for me tonight," Anne said as she smiled at me.
We had another fun round and had lunch and a quick drink after the round. Both Anne and I wanted to see the wrap-up of the school to see how the kids were doing.
When we arrived at the range, it was empty. Kevin had taken them over to the putting and chipping green to practice the short game. When we made our way over to them, all three of them seemed to be doing fairly well for novices.
Jake was smiling and talking away to another boy while he putted and from what I observed, he was pretty good at it. As soon as he saw us he gave a big wave and continued on. Sean and Melissa were chipping with their wedges but they were separated and didn't notice us.
"The three of them are doing very well and if they stick with it they will make fine golfers," Kevin said with a big smile as he came over to talk to us. "I had to separate Sean and Melissa though, as they weren't paying much attention to the golf instruction when we started."
"How was Jake?" I asked as I laughed.
"Jake is just like Lee Trevino; great athletic ability and constantly entertaining whoever is around him," Kevin said as he laughed. "I was very pleased at how quickly he picked up on the instruction though."
Kevin went back to the class and organized them into foursomes, as he was going to have them play the first hole on the short course, which was a Par 4, as the culmination of the school.
He put Sean, Melissa and Jake in the same foursome with an older boy, who was much bigger and stronger than them. Jake was the first to tee off and hit a pretty good shot just into the right rough about 180 yards. Melissa was next and hit it straight but not very far.
The older boy was next and hit it over 200 yards but way left. Sean got up and took a pretty furious practice swing, as I was guessing he didn't want to be out driven by the other two boys. His first shot sliced severely right and out of bounds. I could tell by his face he was determined to hit the next one in play.
He stepped up to the ball and I could see he had his tongue out. He hit the ball about 5 yards past Jake. The other three clapped and he gave a big smile, especially to Melissa.
We followed them and they all finished the hole with a double bogey (without Sean's penalty stokes) and they took off their hats and shook hands. I was glad to see Kevin taught them something about Golf etiquette as well as how to play the game.
They waved to us as they went back to join Kevin at the tee. We watched the other group finish and Kevin had them gather around him as he said his closing remarks and goodbye. He handed out certificates of participation and shook hands with each student.
When they came over to us after Kevin was finished with them, I patted Melissa on the back and said, "You three were great," and then put my arm around Jake and Sean.
Anne also praised the three of them and we made our way to the cars. I could tell that Sean wanted to ask Melissa to come over to swim, but before he got a chance to ask me, Anne said that they were going out to Naples to shop for a couple of hours before they came back to get ready for dinner.
"It's a golden rule, Sean, that you never interfere with a woman's shopping time," I said as I laughed as we were on our way to the car.
When we got back to the house, the boys rushed into their rooms to get changed into their swimsuits. I told them to wait until I got there, as I didn't want them in the pool unsupervised as Sean wasn't a strong swimmer yet, and I wasn't sure what to expect from Jake.
I brought out a floating Basketball net for us to play with and threw it into the pool. I gave them the go ahead to enter and Jake was quickly under water and to the end of the pool. It was obvious he had swimming lessons before, as he was a very good swimmer.
I threw the two of them off of my shoulders, and we played with the Basketball net for about an hour. I was getting tired and waterlogged so I got out of the pool. I went into the Kitchen and got a snack of cut-up fruit, veggies and dips, as well as some drinks for us, and brought them out.
The two of them came out of the pool to eat and reapply their sun screen. When they were finished, Sean said he was going to rest for a few minutes and Jake went back into the pool. Sean sat beside me in one of the deck chairs.
"Are you having a good time?" I asked.
"Yeah," he said very calmly.
I knew by his tone there was something on his mind. We sat like that for about 2 minutes watching Jake and not saying really very much of substance. I knew when he was ready, he would let me know what was on his mind.
Finally he looked down and asked, "Pop, how do you know if you're in love?"
I was glad I wasn't drinking something at the time, as I might have choked. I didn't answer right away, as quite frankly I was floored. I had a quick flashback to my youth when I was that age, and that was probably one of the last questions I would've asked my father.
"Well, .... um....that's quite a heavy question," I stammered trying to buy myself some time to think.
I could see by his expression that I wasn't going to get off easy with this one. He was now looking at me with a serious look.
"You'll just know Sean. When you can't stand to be apart; if you have lots of common interests; if the person is the most special person you've met in the whole wide world, then you're in love."
I told him that sometimes, especially when you're young, that it's infatuation, not true love. I also told him he would be meeting lots of other girls in the next few years. I was very careful not to say that he was too young to be in love, as that would have been patronizing to him and it would have hurt his feelings.
"Is that how you feel about Melissa?" I asked.
He paused as he thought about my question, and I could tell he was giving it some serious thought.
Finally he said, "I don't know. Maybe it's just ..... what did you say the other thing was?"
He didn't say anything for quite a few moments.
"You know Melissa is only an hour away from where we live. You can see her when we get back, and if it's real, your feelings won't go away," I said as I smiled at him.
He gave me a big smile, got up to go into the pool and said, "Thanks."
We finally went into the house for their dance lesson about 4:30. I was reflecting back on my youth, and I was their age when my mother insisted I take Ballroom Dancing lessons with some of my friends. Over the years it came in handy, as it was going to once again.
"What kind of music is that?" Sean asked as I put on some big band music.
"It's Tommy Dorsey's 'Stardust'. He was one of the famous band leaders in the Big Band era," I said. "So who's going first?"
Jake volunteered and I showed him how to hold his partner and dance the two step. He was well coordinated and he was picking it up pretty quickly. He also had some musical ability, as he was perfectly in time to the music. I taught him how to lead .... and how to keep from dancing on his partner's feet.
"You know you can turn Jake. You don't have to go in a straight line the whole dance," I said as I smiled at him.
After about two songs it was Sean's turn.
"Now don't get too close as you don't want to step on Melissa's feet. Plus you don't want to make her Grandmother have to come to the floor and separate you two," I said as I smiled with him scowling at me.
After about a 1/2 hour I had taught them the two step and the Waltz and I thought that would be enough to get them through the night.
"Go get dressed and transform yourselves into those two dashing young bachelors that I took to dinner last night," I said as I laughed.
When they came into the Kitchen after they got dressed it was obvious that neither one of them needed my help this time with their ties. They each had a perfect double Windsor knot, and they were the correct length. The cologne was toned down as well, and I didn't feel this awful urge to sneeze.
We arrived at the Dining Room shortly before 7:30 and were shown to our table. We were together with the Blacks, Airdons, Anne and Melissa, at one large table. The menu had 3 choices as the meal and dance was a special package deal. I saved the seats beside me for Anne and Melissa, as they hadn't arrived yet.
The Blacks and Airdons were already there, and Mara rearranged herself to sit beside Jake. He smiled, but seemed a little reserved.
"You know Mara really likes you, Jake," I said as I leaned over and softly spoke to him.
He gave me a nervous smile and took a big swig of water. Sean in the meantime was keeping his eyes glued to the entrance waiting to get a glimpse of Melissa. Finally Anne and Melissa arrived, and Sean immediately got up to rearrange himself so he was sitting next to her and Anne next to me.
They got settled and Melissa and Sean quickly launched into conversation as if they hadn't seen each other for weeks.
"I'm glad you finally arrived, as I was afraid Sean was going to have an anxiety attack waiting," I quietly said to Anne as I leaned over so Sean and Melissa wouldn't hear.
"It took Melissa a little longer to get ready tonight, as she wanted to look perfect," Anne said as she smiled.
The meal was great, as the boys had the Chicken Kiev and I had the Sea Scallops done in a creamy garlic sauce. Dessert was a Royal Chocolate Cheesecake with a generous dollop of whip cream on the side. Sean and Melissa were at ease with each other and were obviously enjoying each other's company. Jake was at ease with everyone at the table and in between bites of food was entertaining us. He certainly had no fear of talking to adults as many kids his age did.
The waiters cleared the table as the band was setting up. We were just finishing our tea when the music started. I looked over at the boys and nodded to them to ask the girls to dance as Anne and I made our way to the floor. We were followed by everyone at the table, including Jackson and Helen.
The two of us were watching Jake, Mara, Sean and Melissa as they made their way around the dance floor. Both boys were doing a great job and seemed to be having fun.
We sat down after a few dances and the kids joined us as well. Jake and Jackson seemed to hit it off well and were having a great conversation, to the exclusion of Mara. I caught Jake's attention and motioned to him to ask Mara to dance again, as Sean, Melissa, Anne and I made our way to the floor. He finally joined us, as Jackson and Helen followed them.
When we sat down again, Sean and Melissa hadn't followed us and we were guessing as to where they were. Anne and I decided to get some fresh air on the terrace that was on the opposite side from where we were sure Sean and Melissa were.
"I had forgotten how much I enjoyed dancing with a beautiful woman," I said as I held her hand and turned to face her.
"And I'd forgotten what it's like to be with a handsome man," Anne said as she smiled and looked into my eyes.
I couldn't help myself and I took her in my arms and we had a passionate kiss. When we finally came up for air, we noticed we were not alone. At the other end, Sean and Melissa were also in a passionate embrace.
Both of us looked at each other smiled, and we cleared our throats. We could almost see their faces glowing red even though it was dark. They made their way over to us holding hands.
"It was hot in there, so we were just cooling off out here on the terrace," Melissa said.
"I think it's hotter out here than in there," I said as I smiled. "I guess we should all join the others?"
We said our goodbyes outside the dining room after the dance. Anne and Melissa were off to Disney World for the day tomorrow, so we wouldn't see them before they left for home. Both Sean and I were wishing for more privacy, but we made do. Jake seemed to be enjoying Mara's company as well, and their goodbye was a typical awkward teenage moment.
Sean, Jake and I were all tired and we got ready for bed as soon as we got home. It was going to be another big day tomorrow, as the three of us were playing the Short Course at 9:17. Then, in the late afternoon, we were making our way over to Disney World to check in at the Grand Floridian.
I went to tuck in Jake first, as the boys were sleeping in their own rooms.
"Did you have a good day today?" I asked as I sat down on the side of the bed and smiled at him.
"Yeah, it was one of the best times I've ever had," he said with a big grin on his face.
"You're uncle is a lucky man to have such a special boy like you in his life."
He gave me a big smile as I tucked him in and tousled his hair. As I was leaving the room he said, "Thanks, Pop."
When I got to Sean's room I noticed Teddy was back with him and he was on his side with his arm around him.
"Well I guess Teddy's going to get an earful tonight."
"Pop, ..... is Melissa's grandmother your special person?" he asked as he smiled at me.
I guess he saw Anne and I in our embrace on the terrace.
"I'm not going to answer that.... just like you didn't answer me this afternoon," I said as I smiled at him. "I don't kiss and tell ..... just like you don't."
We smiled at each other and said goodnight.