Adventures Of Fatherhood

new fatherhood headshot

One of the things I really look forward to is getting together with friends and their families.

The summer provides these opportunities more than any other time of year for most of us around here, and I was fortunate enough to enjoy some days with some visiting friends I made during college last weekend.

In fact, one day we spent 11 hours on the beach and that will invariably go down as one of my favorite days of the summer.

Twenty years ago, myself and the four friends I spent much of the weekend with would head to the beach with nothing but a towel and spend most of the time in the ocean. After a couple hours of people watching, we would usually head out for some fun around the town.

Now, we each need to bring our own vehicles, complete with beach wheelies, coolers, boogie boards and the like, and we spend all day on the beach, teaching the nuisances of the ocean, building sand castles, digging holes and being the full-time pitcher for a game of whiffle ball.

Life is surely a lot more complicated now than it was back in our late-teen and early-20 years, but there is comfort and enjoyment in knowing that some of my closest friends are charting a similar course through life as me.

We still laugh all the time, but it’s just different. Rather than reflecting on the previous night’s shenanigans or how late so and so slept that morning, we laugh over the crazy things our kids say, how silly their antics can be and theories over why all of a sudden I woke up one morning with specs of gray in my chest hair.

We talk about the right age to take kids to Disney. We wonder why my 6-year-old has not lost a tooth yet. We talk about the intricacies of changing a dirty diaper on the beach. Opinions are expressed on why our 4-year-old son has been waking up at 4 in the morning to use the bathroom and will not go back to sleep.

It’s still entertaining conversation but just different in so many ways.

The measure of true friendship in my mind is not constant communication. It’s going weeks, months or even years without talking and just picking up right where you left off when together. I am blessed to have these bonds with many friends in my life, and it’s special to see our kids growing up together and enjoying each other.

When you have close friends like this with kids, you begin to look at their kids as relatives in many ways as you spend more and more time with them. The kids seem to feel the same way, asking about and for their little buddies often.

It’s a special dynamic and something to be cherished until sports, dance and other commitments monopolize the summer calendars. That’s why I don’t take it for granted, and these times will surely go down as one of my treasured memories from this summer.


Carson is not a “napper” anymore.

That has come with some hiccups along the way, but we think the 4-year-old is ready to forgo the naps for several reasons.

It’s mainly due to the fact on the days he naps he does not fall asleep until 11 at night, and nothing beneficial comes from having a kid his age up at that hour of the night. It’s not good for him and it’s most certainly not good for Pam and me.

Along with that is the fact he will be in afternoon pre-kindergarten in a couple short weeks and he needs to be ready to go the entire day without being a menace.

During this transition period, there have been a few days here and there when the poor boy is just exhausted in the late-afternoon hours, say between 4-6 p.m., and there are times when that results in some odd behavior. It’s almost as if his eyes are open but nobody is home inside. I recall a similar period of time when Beckett was going through this phase.

One example of his unusual behavior was last Saturday when Carson had just had too much fun in the sun. Along with looking a little bit sun kissed, it was becoming evident that he was just drained. We knew if we laid him down or put on a television show that he would be asleep in just a couple minutes. However, there can be no napping at 5 p.m.

Knowing that would only result in a middle of the night awakening, we tried to keep him busy in the pool. At one point, and it’s probably my fault, he got out of the pool and start wandering around. I should have known he was up to no good.

Before I could get to him, he managed to push an extremely heavy potted palm tree into the pool. While tending to the pool cleanup operation that involved dozens of dives to get as much of the dirt out as possible, Pam took Carson inside for a conversation about what transpired. Apparently, he laughed and laughed about it before falling asleep on the couch a little before 7 p.m. and slept for almost 12 hours.

Although it may not have been a pleasant one, it was a memory maker, and I can see us now reflecting, “remember that time Carson pushed the palm tree into the pool.”





Berlin Police Officers Honored For Rescue Made In House Fire

BERLIN — In an emotional ceremony Monday, two Berlin Police Department (BPD) officers were honored for their actions during a vicious house fire that caused severe injuries in April. While they weren’t the only heroes that day, the two officers were the first on the scene and responsible for pulling a trapped young girl to safety. BPD Officers Merle Bragg … Continue reading

Soundwave Music Festival To Feature National Acts

BERLIN — The Soundwave Music Festival is returning to Worcester County for its second year, featuring a massive lineup of rock bands, vendors and attractions. The three-day event will take place outside on a 50-acre open-air venue off Worcester Highway and organizer Airlift Entertainment expects an even larger turn out than the festival’s first year. “There’s a lot of hype. … Continue reading

Extended-Stay Housing Eyed For West Ocean City; Taylor Bank Plans New Branch

SNOW HILL — Last week’s Worcester County Planning Commission meeting saw a pair of text amendments, one on extended stay hotels and motels and the other on solar energy regulations, rejected as written but with the caveat that the commission could look favorably on both if tweaked. The commissioners also approved a sketch plan for a new, 4,000-square-foot Calvin B. … Continue reading

OCBP Sergeant Saves Choking Boy In Va. Beach

OCEAN CITY – Ocean City Beach Patrol Sgt. Jamie Falcon found himself at the right place at the right time last week when he saved the life of an infant at a lifeguard competition in Virginia Beach. In the midst of hundreds of lifeguards at the Nautica United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) National Lifeguard Championships in Virginia Beach on Friday, … Continue reading

New Tourism Metric Confirms Solid May, Slower June

OCEAN CITY – The month of May saw mostly increases across the board in metrics representing Ocean City tourism while the month of June reflected an array of decreases. During this week’s Tourism Commission meeting, Tourism and Marketing Director Donna Abbott presented Ocean City’s Tourism Metric for the month of May and June. The average high in May was 72 … Continue reading

Resort Powerless To Stop Boardwalk Pole Dancing Show?

OCEAN CITY — Perhaps emboldened by two prior federal court rulings that essentially defined freedom of expression and First Amendment rights as they apply to street performing in Ocean City, a 27-year-old Frederick woman has created quite a stir and pushed the envelope when she set up a pole dancing operation on the Boardwalk. Chelsea Bell Plymale, 27, of Frederick, … Continue reading

Berlin, AGH Settle Stormwater Utility Dispute

BERLIN — Atlantic General Hospital (AGH) and the town of Berlin have reached a settlement over stormwater fee requirements that spent months in dispute bouncing around the legal system. The settlement will be a restructuring of the fees that the hospital pays to Berlin’s Stormwater Utility as well as a new annual grant between the town and AGH. All agree … Continue reading

Lone Qualifying White Marlin Wins $1.2M; Heaviest Blue Marlin Worth $511K

OCEAN CITY — After a remarkably slow start, the 2014 hits its stride by mid-week last week with the big money fish in the two glamour divisions hitting the scale on Thursday. The tuna division was all wrapped up on Monday of Marlin Week, as was the shark division. The winning wahoo was caught on Tuesday and the winning dolphin … Continue reading