Adventures Of Fatherhood

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It’s hard to say what will be remembered years from now, but I’m quite sure I will never forget my oldest son scoring his first soccer goal.

Sports were a big part of my life as a kid, and I want that for my boys as well. My wife feels the same. That’s why they are both at a young age playing soccer. Beckett is now playing in his fourth soccer league, and this winter marks Carson’s first foray into organized sports.

Although there have been several close encounters over the last year or so, Beckett scored his first goal last Saturday during his indoor soccer game. While the goal was less than miraculous (he kicked it hard, but the ball actually went through the goalie’s legs), his excitement was such a pleasure to witness.

One of the more memorable parts of it was when he scored he looked around immediately for “Coach Daddy” to celebrate. As we hugged, he said all sorts of silly things, but what I remember most was him saying, “yeah let’s go and get that milkshake now”.

I convinced him he needed to play the rest of the game, but it was understandable that was on his mind. A milkshake was the prize I dangled earlier that morning if he played well and gave it his all and kept his hands to himself during the game. He has a propensity for getting a little “handsy” with the opposing players if he can’t get to the ball or they run by him too fast.

In previous seasons, I promised a cartwheel on the field for good effort and energetic play, but sadly the days of pulling off anything resembling a cartwheel are well behind me.

Actually, I’m not sure I was ever the cartwheel type, but I’m all about doing whatever it takes to motivate and keep the attention of 3- and 4-year-olds on the soccer field. Fortunately, he forgot about the cartwheel and it helped that it was replaced with a milkshake.

He’s been asking about another one all week.

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Though it wasn’t much snow last weekend, there was enough of it for a snowball fight of sorts.

It didn’t matter to me how much snow was on the ground. After being stuck inside during the rain and snow the previous afternoon, I was getting outside with my kids one way or the other to burn some energy and get some fresh air.

As is the case with most things with my 4- and 3-year-old boys, there were ups and downs associated with our snow adventure.

Since they had so many layers of clothes on, neither could move too fast, and that was a nice change of pace. Additionally, I didn’t have to worry about anyone getting hurt from falling down or hitting each other because of all the padding.

However, that doesn’t mean there were not challenges.

The biggest issue was Carson absolutely refusing to wear his gloves, despite several attempts to encourage him otherwise. When his will proved stronger than mine, I let him see for himself why he needed to wear them. I was curious what he would do without the gloves, and he, of course, went right for the snow and a delayed reaction later he was crying because his hands were freezing.

He was a little more accepting of the gloves after that for a bit, before again tossing them off, signaling our playtime outside was nearly complete as my frustration level reached its peak.

However, before that, the three of us did have a quasi-snow ball fight. It came with rules, some set by me, such as no throwing in the face or no putting snow down anyone’s pants (been there, done that already), but most guidelines were set by Beckett.

The most important rule to him was the size of the snow balls. He originally wanted them all to be the size of soccer balls. When I asked him why, he said, “so it would get Carson’s entire head.”

After it was pointed out to him the rule was nothing thrown toward the face, he said, “oh man, I said the head, not the face.” He’s a stickler for the facts when he wants to be.

I also told him there was not enough snow to make them that big, and he acquiesced, reporting it would be acceptable if they were a little bit smaller (with gloved fingers barely apart).

Much to my surprise, Beckett seemed to prefer to get hit with snowballs than throw them. Invariably, each time he was hit, he would fall to the ground as if he was acting out some sort of explosion. That can easily be traced back to his current fascination with superheroes.

When he actually was wearing his gloves, Carson got in the act by throwing a couple. When I wasn’t making the snowballs fast enough, he took the opportunity of his big brother’s back being turned to give him some blindside pushes, resulting in both of them falling down together. Both seemed to enjoy that quite a bit.

Whenever both were off their feet, I took the opportunity of bombarding them with snowballs, ignoring the calls of it’s unfair, pleads to stop and giggling.

After roughhousing in the snow together for a while, Carson immediately got up and threw off his gloves. Beckett immediately followed suit, and both boys picked up the snow and started whining how cold it was. The next thing I know we are headed inside and the boys were greeted by hot chocolate from their mother.

They need it because their hands were frozen. One day they will learn.

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