Adventures Of Fatherhood

It was only about 15 minutes, but it was easily the highlight of my Father’s Day.

I don’t know how or why it happened, but I had some wonderful moments with my sons last weekend sitting in beach chairs as the ocean washed up and under us. It was short lived but I enjoyed every minute.

Typically, there is little time spent on the beach sitting in our chairs, as we are usually busy fulfilling kid requests to play ball, go in the ocean, make sand castles, dig holes, find the ice cream guy and remove sand from sensitive areas.

However, for whatever reason, last Sunday the boys seemed to enjoy taking in the sights and sounds of the beach and ocean for a short spell. I don’t think it had anything to do with Father’s Day. It was probably more about the fact we had a long day on the beach the day before and their motors were running low.

Nonetheless, there we were hanging out in our beach chairs talking and looking around. At one point, Beckett even said how relaxing it was and that we should do it more often.

Of course, the boys had the newest and most elevated chairs, while I was relegated to the older type that sat right on the sand. (or in this case in the water). It didn’t matter to me because they were content being sedentary and were getting along.

It was delightful for me to be able to sit down with my boys and talk about nothing in particular while we watched planes overhead from the nearby Air Show.

Carson soon enough offered to provide some wonderful entertainment for us and nearby beach-goers as well.

While Beckett was body boarding, Carson played along the shoreline and was particularly friendly with strangers walking by. He ran up to each and every person and gave them a hug. Most enjoyed it very much, but there were a few young guys who for some reason took exception to the personal contact.

They were the exception and most people hugged him back. At one point, a group of 10 college-aged girls strolled by. Because I am a guy with a pulse, I saw them coming from a block away. I was curious what he would do when he saw them.

As expected, he raced toward them and hugged each and every one of them, providing some good laughs for them as well as nearby onlookers.

Later, after Beckett was exhausted from being in the ocean so long, I left Carson by the water to get their lunch from our cooler. Beckett was hanging with me and started laughing hysterically while pointing to Carson, who was standing in ankle-deep water naked, urinating. He was not the least bit bashful about it either. He even put his hands squarely on his butt cheeks, arched his back and let it fly without a care in the world.

In hindsight, I wished I had grabbed a photo quickly, but instead I sprinted down to the water to fetch his bathing suit that was quickly floating off into the ocean. When I got to him, he was laughing hysterically, rubbing his belly and signing that he wanted a sticker. We have been battling potty training for about a month now and we have developed this sticker system for each time he goes where he’s supposed to.

It was a tough one to explain, particularly because I could not stop laughing at the sight of him.

To make things even more enjoyable, while I was wrestling Carson’s wet bathing suit back on him and trying to keep him from hugging strangers in his birthday suit, I looked back up to our area to see Beckett standing nearby chatting up another family while he laughed at his little brother.

These are the sorts of instances you can’t make up. They just come along every now and again and it’s part of why parenting is such an adventure.

Just about everyone I know gets a kick out of watching the OC Air Show each June. However, from my experiences, I would not include kids in that group.

Every year it amazes me how little ones could care less about this event. Even as the Thunderbirds whizzed over them while they swam in the ocean, the six kids I was on the beach with on Saturday were oblivious. There was no way the kids – all under 10 years old — didn’t see or hear them. It was just not impressive in the least bit to them.

In fact, at my kids’ ages, 6 and 4, respectively, they could do without it altogether. On Friday, Beckett and I went to the beach on 20th Street to watch the Air Show as an end-of-school treat. At least, that’s what I had planned. As soon as we walked onto the beach, the Harrier jet zoomed by and he started racing back to the car because of the noise. I was able to coax him back to the beach and to watch it with me, thanks to some handy ear plugs.

Once that jet completed its show, all was well but there were constant questions on whether the Air Show was over or not.

Back to Saturday, when three families had a great beach day, not one of the six kids had any interest in the Air Show, while their parents were mesmerized by the fact we were swimming in the ocean and sitting on the beach and watching a military team perform directly over our heads.

All the while the kids were simply content jumping waves and playing in the sand.