Adventures Of Fatherhood

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Youth sports cracks me up, and this year’s outdoor soccer season did not disappoint.
While there were several proud parenting moments along the way, there were also plenty of hilarious instances as well.
Since the funny ones surely make for better fodder for this space, here’s a couple off the top of my head.
Beckett embraced the opportunity to play goalie this season, mainly because he really enjoys punting the ball after a save. He actually will even punt it if the other team scores as well. It doesn’t matter one way or the other to him.
During one of his games, as luck would have it, I noticed he had to use the bathroom. Parents of boys will understand what I mean here, and it does not take a master sleuth to determine when boys have to the use the facilities because they toy around with it more often than usual.
With no substitute players for this particular game, I got strategic. We waited for the ball to be down on the other end and I snuck him away to a nearby wooded area. Of course, as soon as he stepped out of the goal, the opposing team started advancing toward Beckett’s goal.
Miraculously, he was able to complete the task at hand, run back to the goal, stopped the ball that was trickling his way and punted it back up the field. I cheered like he just won the gold medal, and he immediately turned to me and wished he had to go again.
Another notable instance was when one of our players said what everyone on the team, including parents, were thinking during a game.
An advanced and skilled player from another team who had scored a couple goals against us already went down with a minor injury. It appeared immediately to not be a big deal, but it was evident he needed a break.
As he walked off the field, one of our team players said, “okay good he has to go out of the game now.”
The coaches immediately jumped on him and let him know it was not appropriate, while all the parents on the sideline were biting their tongues or turning their backs because he said exactly what we all were thinking as soon as we knew he was not badly hurt.
Although those were a couple memorable moments, my all-time favorite youth sport moment as a father remains when Beckett somersaulted over a ball when he was 3 years old.
It was during an outdoor game and the ball was rolling slowly away from him. It was just him and the goalie about 15 feet away, and I was bracing for what I hoped would be my son’s first goal.
Instead, Beckett executed a perfect somersault directly over the ball without touching it, leading to an ovation from both teams.

The expiration of Daylight Savings Time means something altogether different now than it once did.
There was a time during my college days when that Saturday night represented an extra hour at the bar to overindulge. There was also a day when I recall being excited about getting an extra hour of sleep.
I recall always having a bitter sweet feeling about it as well because it meant the sun set around 5 p.m. and there’s nothing exciting about that, no matter the age.
These days the reality is there’s nothing beneficial when it comes to this particular time change in my life.
For one, the kids only get up earlier now. Instead of getting up at the customary 6:30 in the morning, they got up by 5:30 the morning of the time change and the earlier sun rise.
Secondly, there is little after-work time outside, and that can make for a significantly longer evening than usual.
Yes, I am looking forward to springing ahead already.

Carson turned 4 on Tuesday.
I presume most parents do as we do and remain focused on treating each child the same and providing the same opportunities for each.
Pam and I struggle with this with our kids because Carson’s developmental delays leave him with special needs at this time of his life. Among the biggest hurdles he currently faces is the fact he does not speak. That poses a number of challenges.
On the opposite end, while he certainly has needs of his own, Beckett talks enough for both of them and often overshadows his little brother with his zest for life, outspokenness and love of the spotlight.
It’s a constant struggle of balance, not unlike what all parents deal with, but what makes it not quite as difficult as it could be is Carson’s laidback spirit, which probably contributes to the delays we are dealing with currently.
Carson is not in a hurry to do anything. In fact, ask him to run when he doesn’t want to, and he might just pitch a fit. Pick him up at the grocery store and help him in the cart, and he will get upset because he wants to try and climb in it at his own pace. He likes to do things by his own accord and amazes me with his resolve.
Carson’s way is much different than his big brother’s, and he oftentimes is not able to do it quite as well, but it doesn’t matter to him. With or without a voice to verbalize his thoughts or answer us, he’s his own person and he makes us so proud every day because he does what Ralph Waldo Emerson advised when he wrote, “Insist on yourself, never imitate.”

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