Adventures Of Fatherhood

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Watching a movie with my kids can be frustrating for me, but it’s nothing like the anxiety that Pam is forced to endure.

She is a person who does not like interruptions during movies, and I recall friends years ago lovingly retelling a story about how they were in a movie theater with her in Vermont years ago. As they talked during the movie, she at one point had enough of the chatter and had to make it clear the conversation had to stop.

Well, the poor woman has had to adjust over the years because interruptions are par for the course these days with my kids. Add a movie to the mix and there is no chance there will not be numerous interruptions involving questions, comments, jokes and the like.

That’s why I had to laugh routinely during last weekend’s showing of The Polar Express movie at The Salted Rim in Millville, Del. I recommend this to anyone looking for a unique way to enjoy the holiday season.

During the afternoon event, Carson, 5, fell asleep in Pam’s lap after eating a plate full of turkey, mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese (and maybe a carrot or two mixed in).

One child asleep would normally be the ideal scenario for movie watching, but Beckett, 6, and a buddy were sure to keep the interruptions coming, and I know it had to be driving Pam crazy.

Unfortunately, it’s the new norm now and she has come to accept it, but the incessant questions and silly observations from the little ones were surely frustrating her to no end. At one point, Beckett dropped his fork for the third time during the movie and insisted on picking it up himself for the wait staff, hitting his head on the table and rocking it back and forth consequently. All the while Carson is asleep on Pam’s lap and I can see her biting her tongue as she tried to listen to the movie.

On a serious note, aside from those little silly occurrences, the true memory from the event will be when Santa Claus came on the train and surprised the kids with a bell similar to the one featured in the movie.

Carson slept through all the commotion initially but with Santa over him and saying, “ho, ho, ho” he woke up and gave a huge half-asleep smile. As Santa turned to Beckett and his friend, Carson jumped up and gave Santa a huge bear hug, bringing on some tears for Pam, the waiter and some people nearby.

What a wonderful moment that must have been for him, as every little boy and girl dreams about waking up and finding Santa.

It was a memorable moment (and an additional bonus for Pam was the movie was paused).


Aside from my day job, most of the reading I do these days is children’s books.

The best thing about that is there are many that contain deep meanings that can be easily explained to my kids in ways they can understand. Sure some are silly, but I find many of the books to be enjoyable.

Maybe it’s just me because I seek inspiration in everything I do, but there are many books that actually inspire me tremendously.

Without question my favorite is “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss because of the uplifting message it provides for all ages to understand. We enjoy it so much that Pam had our favorite cake lady design a huge cake with the book’s theme for Beckett’s end-of-the-year kindergarten party last year.

Here’s some of my favorite text from the book. My kids love it.

“Oh the places you go!

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance

you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.

There are some, down the road between hither and yon,

that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

“But on you will go

though the weather be foul

On you will go

though your enemies prowl

On you will go

though the Hakken-Kraks howl

Onward up many

a frightening creek,

though your arms may get sore

and your sneakers may leak.

“On and on you will hike

and I know you’ll hike far

and face up to your problems

whatever they are.

“You’ll get mixed up, of course,

as you already know.

You’ll get mixed up

with many strange birds as you go.

So be sure when you step.

Step with care and great tact

and remember that Life’s

a Great Balancing Act.

Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.

And never mix up your right foot with your left.

“And will you succeed?

Yes! You will, indeed!

(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)



be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray

or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,

You’re off to Great Places!

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting.

So…get on your way!”