Fatherhood Adventures

Pulling off surprises for the kids is a big deal for me and Pam.

Fortunately, I have a wife who has a creative mind for these sorts of things and often hatches some pretty unique plans to wow our boys.

We seem to pull off at least a few major surprises each year, mainly around holidays and birthdays.

One of my favorites so far took place two Christmases ago when we saved the kids’ biggest gift of all till later on in the big day. It was really more for Beckett, as Carson was just two months old.

We went through all the hoopla and insanity associated with Christmas morning and two little ones, and we then made up a reason for all of us to venture into the backyard. To Beckett’s astonishment in the middle of the backyard was a trampoline sporting a big bow. I clearly remember Beckett sprinting to it in his Christmas pajamas, screaming and stopping occasionally to ask how Santa got it on his sleigh. I creatively dodged that with a desperate “it’s magic” comment and changed the subject quickly. We pulled off a similar surprise a few years later with a backyard play set. It’s much fun to see their reactions.

For the occasion of Beckett’s 4th birthday, Pam cooked up the best scheme yet to surprise our boy.

Unlike some other birthdays or special occasions, there was no questioning what we were going to get Beckett for this birthday. It was going to be a drum set and he made those desires clear shortly after Christmas. He wanted a drum set like Mr. Rob’s in church.

We didn’t go quite that far, but we did get him a five-piece, junior blue drum set that looks quite impressive.

Once it was put together, the question quickly turned to how we were going to present it to him. Pam came up with a great idea that involved a little bit of deception, which I liked a lot.

Sometime along the way, after learning of her cousin’s passion for the skins, my niece, Cameron, generously offered her drum set to Beckett. It’s a great set, but on the small side, and we knew Beckett had higher aspirations. Again he wanted drums like Mr. Rob’s set, which was certainly not going to happen but we knew we had to come up with something of the same magnitude in regard to size.

That’s where Pam’s idea came into play. She suggested we use my niece’s set as a diversion of sort.

We had planned to let Carson use the smaller set so he didn’t feel left out and to prevent him from trying to use Beckett’s gift too early on. We knew Beckett was going to have some issues with sharing the drums immediately with his little brother.

With all that in mind, Pam thought it would be fun to hide the big drum set and present Cameron’s drum set to Beckett as the gift. It turned out he loved her set and had a ball with it for a while.

However, as expected, we soon began to notice Beckett was starting to move other items of furniture near the drum set so he could have more things to bang on. At one point, whispers nicely to him, he started to maneuver his little brother Carson by his shoulders into a chair next to the drums. Yeah, he wanted to utilize Carson as a cymbal. We didn’t wait to find out for sure on that, relocating Carson quickly before he took a stick to the forehead.

With me behind the video camera, Pam then started to ask Beckett if he liked his new drums and mentioned maybe the set wasn’t big enough for a big boy like him. The seed was planted.

We then moved into another room that was closed off. Once the door was flung open, the big unveiling took place, and it’s moments like these that are truly wonderful. He was thrilled and, of course, immediately started saying, “wow, I got two drum sets for my birthday.”

We quickly tried to address that, reminding him the smaller set was for Carson from Cameron, but he wasn’t much interested in that discussion.

As I was videotaping him banging on his drums, and Carson doing his best to keep up on his smaller set, I soon realized I only needed a few minutes of that footage.

I realized prior to getting these drums that we would probably regret the purchase at some point down the road, but I also know my son has a passion for music right now. and drums was the only thing he has been asking for over the last several months.

As I sat with him throughout the weekend watching him play his drums, I started to wonder how soon he could begin to take drum lessons. Pam apparently thought along the same lines, as I saw on the computer the other day a YouTube video featuring a drumming for the beginner lesson.

After all, the random outright banging sessions with no semblance of any sort of beat are only going to be acceptable on the nerves for a period of time.

Come Sunday night, I found myself shaking a little bit uncontrollably. Apparently, if you sit in a room for an hour or so with a 4-year-old and a drum set, it has an impact on your central nervous system.

It’s well worth it, however, to see him enjoying them so much. Those frazzled nerves are nothing compared to knowing the joy they bring him.

I’m just hopeful at some point the nerves adapt.

About The Author: Steven Green

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The writer has been with The Dispatch in various capacities since 1995, including serving as editor and publisher since 2004. His previous titles were managing editor, staff writer, sports editor, sales account manager and copy editor. Growing up in Salisbury before moving to Berlin, Green graduated from Worcester Preparatory School in 1993 and graduated from Loyola University Baltimore in 1997 with degrees in Communications (journalism concentration) and Political Science.