Adventures Of Fatherhood

new fatherhood headshot

With it being summer and all, I’m swimming every day with my boys and that is always an adventure.

Life is never boring with my sons, 7 and 5 years old, but the summer season is certainly my favorite time of year because we are always outside, being active and having fun in the water, whether it’s the pool, bay or ocean.

I am so excited for Carson this summer because he’s now swimming well on his own after about a year of private lessons. Last summer he wanted to be held the entire time and rarely would venture by himself even in shallow areas. This summer his comfort level has soared, thanks in large part to the lessons.

We have found team sports to be a bit of a challenge for him at this point, but he has taken to swimming lessons on Saturday mornings with Miss Nancy in Ocean Pines. He thoroughly enjoys it and has made tremendous progress in a year. He now spends most of his time under water swimming around doing “big scoops” and diving down for rings (or action figures, which always end up in the pool, for some reason).

Among my kids’ favorite pool games is when I make them cover their eyes and then I throw the diving rings (and a few action figures) around the pool. The concept being whoever grabs the most wins.

Being an adept swimmer and typically more energetic than his little brother, Beckett always get a majority of them. In fact, Carson does well to retrieve two out of the eight. Therefore, to keep Carson’s morale up, I intervene and block Beckett so Carson can make it a little bit more even.

It’s funny because Beckett, who is quite chatty, will try and talk to me underwater. I just respond by waving my finger back and forth in a “no” fashion, which always makes him laugh. That distraction helps Carson make it a little bit more of a fair contest.

As I said, with the pool, both boys spend most of their time underwater. Carson likes to blow bubbles because it’s something he has been working on in his lessons. Beckett will typically join in since they share the same brain so often anyway.

One night this week, both boys were under water seemingly having a bubble contest with me nearby. Apparently, some of the bubbles that were created did not stem from their mouths. I didn’t know anything about it until Carson all of a sudden headed straight to the steps and pointed at his rear end, identifying the source of the latest round of bubbles. That was good for some laughs.

Another source of giggles for me is a recent fear of the deep end of the pool from Beckett after a recent dream. Apparently, he had a dream the other night about an orca being in “my pool” and grabbing him when he came down the slide. For the last several days, he will not venture into the deep end, despite the fact he can clearly see there’s nothing to be worried about (save a few action figures at the bottom). However, he does often try and convince his little brother to head that direction, confirming he — at certain times at least — is still holding onto the dream of being an only child.

While his comfort level has soared in the pool, it’s another matter for Carson in the ocean. Beckett is at ease in the ocean these days, but there are times when he is humbled by big waves and current. That’s a good thing I think because respecting the ocean is important.

When I take both boys into the ocean to give Pam a little break, I usually have to hold Carson or put him on my shoulders. He’s just a little unsure of himself and needs some security. The fingernail marks on my back from last weekend confirm that.

Slowly, I have been having him stand in the ocean while holding my hand so he can feel the currents and go under the waves, but he still scares easily at this point so I don’t push it too much.

Beckett can hold his own for the most part with my only responsibility being to constantly remind him to pay attention and not turn his back on the waves, even if the conversation with the nearby stranger is that distracting.

Time and time again I have watched Beckett become enthralled by the silliest things rather than focus on the coming waves.

For example, on a recent beach day, he was infatuated with these large and goofy inflatable rings a group of guys had in the water. The rings were blowing all around them and they continually lost them amid the waves.

Beckett took it upon himself to be their little errand boy, running after the tubes whenever they lost them. The problem was he was getting blindsided by waves retrieving these annoyances (in my opinion).

While the strangers seemed thankful for the little guy’s help, they repeatedly denied his request to ride a wave with one. I cheered that decision but not quite as loud when one popped as a guy stood on one.

My happiness was quelled when Beckett tried to immediately imitate the guy and stand up on his boogie board while riding a wave.

Things I Like

The smell of an old library   Listening to Spotify   Doing this list on Monday mornings   When trusting an instinct is right   Seeing a whale off Ocean City   Hearing a good outcome from a bad accident   A nice tidal pool on the beach for the kids   Hosting visitors in the summer   Getting a … Continue reading

Vanishing Ocean City With Bunk Mann

Ocean City’s motel industry developed in the mid-1950s following the openings of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and the desire of young families for lodging that was casual, inexpensive and that offered easy on-site parking. Within a decade, the vacant land between 15th and 33rd streets became known as “Motel Row.” Motel Row grew from a few initial motels — the … Continue reading

Things I Like

Saturdays   Celebrity Family Feud silliness   Watching my kids swim well   Paddleboarding with my wife   Sundays   Hitting the fairway on a tee shot   A dog crazy over a ball   How hungry my kids get on the beach   Fireworks in the summer   The truth even if it stings   Getting Orioles score updates … Continue reading