Fatherhood Adventures

Aside from some snowball fights here and there, my boys have not played in the snow a lot. This winter has changed all that to be certain.

We have yet to do the big ski trip, but I’m sure that’s in our future at some point once they get a little older. In the meantime, they have been getting familiar with the white stuff the last couple weeks and tried out sledding last weekend at their Mom Mom’s house, which is actually located on one of the higher points in Worcester County.

Both boys seemed to take to it immediately, but Carson really developed an affinity for it early on and is now the happiest person in the house when it snows.

Carson, 4, couldn’t get enough of sledding. His facial expressions while going down the hill were priceless, and he even seemed to enjoy the aspect most dread — walking back up the hill carrying the sled.

A couple times, he purposely dropped the sled and watched it roll all the way down the hill. Rather than get upset, he would simply drop to his knees and log rolled all the way down. He was laughing the entire time, particularly on the bumpy parts. On several occasions, I offered to carry the sled up the hill for him and he vigorously rejected the help.

For his part, Beckett also seemed to enjoy himself. The faster the better for him, but he was more vocal about what he didn’t like than what he did enjoy. He seems to be that age. For example, he became belligerent if anyone beat him down the hill and particularly if his little brother did. He also did not embrace the walk back up the hill as well as Carson and issued some complaints.

It was all about the competition to him and getting farther down the hill in a faster time than anyone else that had him preoccupied for a while.

Although I was admittedly annoyed that he could not just enjoy himself the entire time, I reached into my cheesy parenting bag, asking him to not obsess on winning and instead focus on being the one who had the most fun. He seemed to come around for a little bit. He said, “so whoever has the most fun gets a reward, like 10,000 pieces of candy?” I just agreed to go along with it.

From that point on, I heard a lot about 10,000 something or others along with requests to fix his gloves, carry the sled and make him go faster down the hill.

The good news is years from now when they look at photos of them sledding at Mom Mom’s they, as well as their parents, will not remember the minor bickering and skirmishes that took place. That is until they read this rambling.

On typical Monday mornings, I have what I refer to as a case of Post Traumatic Parenting Syndrome (PTPS).

I’m probably the only one honest enough to admit it, but I’m guessing many other parents share the thoughts that go through my head on Monday mornings after the kids are dropped off at school.

It’s a relief to know that I can now just focus on the work day ahead and have a little break from a couple days of all kids, all the time. It goes without saying that I love my kids and enjoy the time I spend with them, but there is something to be said for the saying, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

Because we both work full-time jobs, Pam and I try not to schedule anything on the weekends that do not involve the kids. There are times when it’s inevitable, but more often than not the weekends are devoted to our boys. With that, however, comes a certain level of exhaustion because there is not a lot of relaxation that takes place on the weekends.

For example, this weekend we are spending some time at Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, Va., and I’m guessing we will have a ball as a family and my kids will love all it has to offer.

I’m also quite certain that I will not have any sad or guilty feelings when I drop the kids off at school on Monday amid a major case of PTPS.

I had an interesting conversation this week about “best friends” that gave me pause for a couple hours after.

The chat was with my 5-year-old son, Beckett, who randomly quizzed me about who my best friends were. After rattling off some of my closest buddies and how long have known them, he seemed to be hanging on the edge of his seat, so I added, “and my two sons and your mommy.”

Of course, he immediately replied, “but I’m your favorite best friend, right?” Given I was in his company, I, of course, said yes.

However, later I got to thinking how it’s true in so many ways that your kids do become your best friends in so many ways because you share nearly all aspects of life with them.

On one hand, it seems ridiculous to say my young kids are my best friends but they are in several ways. It’s not as if I’m going to confide in them something complicated that may be bothering my mind and heart, but there’s no question the closest relationships you have in your life are with your immediate family members, particularly those you live with.

Let this conversation serve as proof, to a degree:

Me: How was your day, buddy?

Beckett: Fine, how about yours?

Me: Not that great actually, but it’s fine. It’s better now.

Beckett: What happened? Tell me.

Me: Oh nothing major. It’s fine.

Beckett: Well, you know I’m a good listener, right?

That last part was debatable, but I loved the sincerity in which he expressed himself.