Adventures Of Fatherhood

When it comes to sickness, my kids rarely go down for the count. Even when they do get sick, we are constantly amazed at their toughness and resiliency.

Like many others around here, a brief bug swept through our house earlier this week. Fortunately, it was a fast mover and impacted the kids for less than a day and was really only a matter of hours.

Although Carson got sick at his day care and subsequently had to come home early on Tuesday, there was no other indication with him that he was not feeling well. Of course, he can’t tell us because he doesn’t speak, but all parents can look in their kids’ eyes and immediately determine if they are not feeling well. Carson never showed any signs before or after he got sick.

As a matter of fact, Carson was such a wild and energetic kid at the house on Tuesday night, Pam and I kept wondering if our day care provider was fabricating the whole thing (which of course we knew she would not). If he wasn’t feeling well, there was no proof. He actually seemed to have more energy than ever, so the next morning off to school he went and there were no other bouts of illness from him.

For his part, Beckett has not missed a day of school this year, and surprising to us was the fact that’s important to him. He apparently wants to get perfect attendance, although I’m not sure whether that’s actually tracked in kindergarten. I have no idea how he even is aware of the term because it’s not something we discuss. We just wake up and go to school and take vacations when school is out.

After the first signs of being ill surfaced overnight Monday, the first thing out of his mouth the next morning had to deal with not wanting to miss his “manners tea” event at school and the second thing had to do with perfect attendance. He then sort of mumbled something about how he was not being tough enough and how he didn’t want us to be upset with him. That was a little drama brought on by not feeling well apparently.

Although he was not able to make it to school on time that morning, he did rally around mid-morning and showed signs he was feeling better. His energy level was returning to somewhat normal, which is higher than average for most humans, and he said he wanted to go to school. When we questioned him about it, he assured us he wanted to go and was feeling fine.

Because it was a special day at school, we were okay with him pushing himself. After Pam took him in a few hours late, she told me a story later about how he made his presence known upon arriving at the school’s office.

He marched in with hands on hips, saying, “Hi, I am really late today. I was a little sick earlier, but I am better now.” With both hands up and out and no breathes in between, he continued, “You don’t want to disappoint [his teacher] Mrs. Berry, right?”

It turns out he was able to make it through the day and his class presentation. As if we didn’t know already by looking in his eyes, it was apparent he was not yet back to 100% by the fact he did not eat any of his cookies. However, he did demonstrate his manners by sharing them with me.

Later on that night, Pam and I were fussing over him and letting him know we were so proud he stepped up and wanted to go to school even when he was not feeling well. Apparently, we went too far, and we got a kick out of his response.

“Yeah, yeah, I know, I know but I didn’t realize when I got to school I was going to have to do all the work they did while I was not there. That was strange,” he said.

It will be interesting to see the next time he is sick during a school day if he still has that same passion for getting back into the classroom.

By the end of the summer, I’m sure the area’s lifeguards could write a book about the ridiculous things they see from beach-goers. I’m afraid one story could be about me and the boys.

On Sunday, while Pam ran the restroom, the three of us were walking to the ocean. Beckett was pulling me in by one hand to go faster toward the water, while Carson provided equal resistance because he didn’t want to go in unless he was on my shoulders. The end result was a great stretch for me, courtesy of the kids pulling me in different directions.

Once I got Carson’s robust self on my shoulders, I continued holding hands with Beckett in the ocean because it was rough on this particular day.

A lifeguard happened to be jogging by and approached us after seeing me with one kid on my shoulders and another not listening to me and trying to get me to go out farther into the cold water.

The guard, or Surf Rescue Technician as officially known, just waded in the water a bit, shook his head and smiled, saying, “You have your hands full. I’ll be keeping my eye on you guys.”

Before I could say anything, as is usually the case, Beckett responded in quick fashion, saying, “Hey, hey buddy … can you take my little brother Carson with you for about a half hour, so we can go body surfing?”

I don’t know if he heard him or not, but the lifeguard simply turned and went on his way.