Adventures Of Fatherhood

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It’s been a week since Halloween in Berlin, and it’s a good thing it only comes once a year.

Trick-or-treating in Berlin only last two hours, but it’s a hectic time for just about everyone.

In some ways, my kids don’t get to enjoy all the customary traditions of Halloween because we live on a street that annually attracts thousands of people. Rather than going out into neighborhoods, we are hosts for the festivities, as our street each year picks a theme (space this year) and we all do our part to make it an enjoyable occasion for the little ones and parents alike.

As a result, our kids aren’t able to do a ton of trick-or-treating. We usually have some help with giving out candy while we take them around our neighborhood, but it’s usually only about 10 houses.

While I sometimes feel guilty about that, after about the third house on Halloween night those feelings had waned.

As is usually the case, the kids are two opposite extremes when it comes to their trick-or-treat approach.

Carson prefers to sort of mosey along the street taking in the sights and sounds and selectively accepting his candy from homeowners. He enjoys it and inspects each house’s decorations.

Meanwhile, Beckett is bouncing from one house to the other in speed trick-or-treating fashion. It’s all about getting the candy as quick as possible before moving on. It quickly became a problem, however, as the street became crowded and keeping track of a costumed character in a sea of little people became challenging.

After a while, we were back to the house, which was decked out in the theme of “Guardians of the Galaxy” to match our costumes. For the first year, both kids seemed to enjoy giving out candy. The only issue was they were overly generous.

To get through the two hours of trick-or-treating, we need about 2,500 pieces of candy, and we try to limit it to one per person. That’s easier said than done, particularly with Beckett and Carson.

Generally, they were giving handfuls out at a time. At one point, when Beckett saw a soccer teammate, he reached into our bucket with two hands and dropped a load into his buddy’s bag. Meanwhile, all the kids standing in line had their feelings hurt when they were just given one miniature Snickers or Twix.

When Beckett wasn’t working the trick-or-treaters, he was wandering aimlessly and chatting up the strangers. He just could not resist getting out into the mix and mingling, but there were a couple times when that unmistakable feeling sets in when you can’t immediately lay eyes on your child.

Carson was a diligent worker on Halloween. His only major issue was the generosity factor, too, as he insisted on giving every single kid candy and sometimes it was four or five pieces depending on however many he could fit in his hands.

The next morning I asked Beckett what his favorite part of Halloween was and he immediately responded, “oh yeah, when you and mommy freaked out because you couldn’t find me.”

That was nice.


The baby of the house turned 5 years old this week.

While he was excited for his birthday, particularly the taking cupcakes to school aspect, Carson was pretty mellow about the whole thing. The big brother, on the other hand, did not take it in stride at all.

Apparently, Beckett forgot that he was only 18 months older than his little brother and was terribly disturbed by the fact that he is 6 years old and Carson is now 5 years old.

Add to this revelation the fact Carson received nearly all the gifts, obviously, and the little green monster reared his ugly head.

Fortunately, Carson has a compassionate soul and tried to share some of his gifts, including a minion pillow from the “Despicable Me” movies.

Beckett accepted it reluctantly and thanked his little brother before punting it across the room. He then turned to me, “Daddy, did you see how far that went? Good kick, right?”


Relations between the boys run the extremes. They either get along wonderfully or they are fighting.

A recent example was when Carson was playing with a lacrosse stick and ball in the backyard while Beckett and I kicked the soccer ball around. Carson was modifying the sport in a way that made it look more like field hockey, but he was having a good time going around the yard, and I’m never one to interrupt content self-play.

For some reason, Beckett went the bully route on his little brother and threw the lacrosse stick over the fence for no reason, sending Carson into hysterics.

In not one of my finest parenting moments, I instinctively kicked Beckett’s soccer ball over the fence so he knew what it felt like.

Then I had both kids in hysterics, sending me to do some yard work. They didn’t know what to do so they pushed each other around a little bit. Before I knew it, they were bouncing on the trampoline and having fun.

It’s a life of extremes these days.