Adventures Of Fatherhood

Adventures Of Fatherhood
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By the time Tuesday morning rolled around, I was not sad about parting ways with my boys for the work day.

It was a fun three-day weekend, but it was an exhausting one as well. By the time Monday night came after lots of beach time, including hundreds of soccer ball kicks and football throws and paddleboard sessions, my body was sore, my mind was toast and my nerves longing for peace and quiet.

It’s been seven months since we have hit the beach here and I forgot how exhausting it can be. Our days with our kids are always full of ups and downs, but there’s nowhere I would rather be for the roller coaster ride than on the beach.

The main reason why things were less relaxing this past weekend was the ocean was too cold. Beckett and I did manage to go in but he even acknowledged it was freezing. Carson, for his part, started to walk in with us, but immediately turned around once his feet got wet. When he got back to her, Pam said he signed that it was freezing and that we were crazy.

With the ocean, the ultimate energy absorber, out of the question, Beckett immediately looked for some fellow kids to buddy up with for some sports activity. He played with me for a little bit, but when I was not matching his energy level he took his football and soccer ball elsewhere for some new blood. He immediately spied some nearby teenagers with a soccer ball.

He waited — not so patiently — for them to get up and start playing. Once they picked up the ball, he was immediately starting a conversation and offering to show them his half rainbow he has been working on. For the next hour, he was engulfed in a game of three-on-three, resulting in some “ahh, this is nice” time for us.

Those moments are few and far between with 5- and 7-year-old boys so we milk them as long as we can. Soon enough, Carson was tugging on me to take him for a walk and Beckett was back asking for lunch and a drink, explaining how the scoring went in his game with the older guys.

Before Beckett even finished his lunch, he was looking for another group to join, according to Pam.

As Carson and I were coming back from our walk, I noticed Beckett throwing around the football and immediately realized the kids he was playing with didn’t speak English. However, little stops him from talking and he continued to give a play-by-play of their action. At the same time, the other boys were talking back and forth in Spanish. While Beckett has been introduced to Spanish in school, he knows little beyond simple pleasantries.

I couldn’t help but laugh when I overheard him repeatedly saying, “Hey amigo, amigo, throw it here, I’m open.”

It was fun to sit back and observe these guys at play. They would throw the football back and forth and then come in talk for a minute before each parted ways while hunching their shoulders in bewilderment at what the other was saying. Somehow they managed to work their way into a “monkey in the middle” game without speaking the same language.

Later, I asked Beckett about the language barrier. It appears play is indeed the universal language.

“I had no idea what they were saying. They just kept talking and talking, and I just kept watching the ball,” he said.

I then reminded him that he did know some Spanish and the next day he went looking for the same boys armed with some sentences, but they were nowhere to be found.

Carson is a little paddle boarding enthusiast.

At Christmas, Pam and I bought each other paddleboards. We also got the kids one. It’s been torture for the last several months to not use them.

Finally, last weekend we broke them in out at the bayside of Assateague.

While Beckett was quickly bored, Carson became enthralled with it in short fashion.

The paddling part is a challenge for him at this point, but he loved sitting on it while one of us paddled him around the bay. He particularly seemed to love it when he realized he could rock back and forth and make me fall off. That was a game I tolerated for only so long.

As the day went on, he was involved in several short paddling trips. Unfortunately, the wind picked up and made it too challenging for us, particularly with his 50-plus pounds along for the ride.

He didn’t take no for an answer, however, and several times picked up the boards and dragged them into the bay to show us in his non-verbal way what he had in mind (as if we didn’t know).

His stubborn passion became so much I eventually had to put them on the truck. He then turned his chair and stared at them in some sort of bizarre display of grieving.