Adventures Of Fatherhood

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The boys took part in their first wedding last weekend, and it was fairly uneventful — just as we hoped it would be.

In the weeks leading up to their Aunt Jill’s wedding, we were fretting over how Beckett, 5, and Carson, 3, would handle being ring bearers. We were unsure if each kid would walk the aisle by himself, if they would walk together, if Beckett would prefer to somersault his way down or if I would need to walk with them.

Minutes before their big moment, the plan was for Beckett to walk alone followed by Carson, who we hoped would walk alone but figured might need a helping hand of encouragement.

When their moment arrived, Carson had a death grip on my hand, confirming I would be ushering him down the aisle, and Beckett seemed to get a last-minute bout of nerves as well. He took one step and immediately turned around and latched on to my other hand.

So there we went down the aisle hand-in-hand with each kid holding a pillow with a fake ring attached. Aunt Jill was smart to know putting the actual rings on the pillows might not work out so well with two young kids.

It was wise because they had been spent the better part of an hour hitting each other atop the head with the pillows. When they weren’t smacking each other around, they were throwing them and dragging them along the ground.

In all, I was quite proud of how our boys handled their wedding duties. The hardest part ended up be trying to keep their shirts tucked in prior to the wedding and keeping them tame while we waited for it to begin.

By the time the wedding took place and we walked down the aisle, I was so rattled and flustered by trying to contain them in our seats that when it came time for the rings to be handed to the pastor I actually handed him the entire ring box, rather than taking the rings out and handing them to him.

I was so distracted by kid maintenance that I neglected my own responsibilities.
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Proud parenting moments are a wonderful thing, and I don’t take them for granted.

There are too many anxious and heated moments in this parenting ride to not appreciate the times when we actually feel like we might be doing something right by our kids.

Since I often document the frustrations along with parenting, I thought I would share several moments of late that had me beaming with pride.

When Pam or I drop Beckett off in the morning, he seems to want to walk in school by himself. He told me this week, “it’s because next year I’m going to be a lunch kid, and I need to be more independent.”

The first few times we dropped him off at the curb and watched him walk in school he would turn and give us an enthusiastic wave before heading in to his classroom, which is directly inside the door.

Well, this week there was no waving, at least for me when I dropped him off. He simply gave me a kiss and a hug and turned toward school. I kept waiting and waiting for him to look back, but he just went right on to school. While I admit to being a little bit nostalgic about it, I was so proud of him for several reasons, including the fact he wants to go to school and he wants to be independent.

Carson, too, demonstrated his independence and it involved school as well.

Initially, there were some separation issues associated with him going to school for the first time, and he had a bit of a transition, but I assume that’s normal for all kids starting out in school, particularly for a 3-year-old.

For several weeks, we would lead him to his teacher, who would then walk him down a long hall to his classroom. Recently, she began letting him walk down the wall by himself, which was startling to us.

It was not until this week that I saw it for myself, but Pam had been telling me how emotional she got watching him walk slowly by himself with his book bag on waving to other students and teachers as he went.

I was able to see it for myself on Monday morning, and it was one of the proudest moments I can recall as a parent. He moseyed on down the hall without a care in the world and never looked back. He knew exactly where he was going and was not troubled by the fact he was by himself.

I watched him until I couldn’t see anymore, and it was one of those moments when I was thankful I had sunglasses on to shield my emotions.

The spirit appears to be with Carson, and he has shown this for some time now.

It’s most evident when it’s time for bedtime and he insists on Pam or I kneeling down next to his bed and praying with him. While he may not be speaking yet, he clearly puts his hand together and listens intently during prayer time. He doesn’t say it entirely, but he always ends it with a sound similar to “Amen.”

His spirituality was on full display the other night when we sat down to eat dinner together. Due to the chaotic nature of life at home, we all started eating at the same time except for Carson, who was crying and shaking his head furiously with his hands together in prayer fashion. He was the first to realize we had forgotten something.

We all thanked him for the reminder.

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