Adventures Of Fatherhood

Adventures Of Fatherhood
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The first day of school is a big deal.

I think it’s especially so when it involves little ones in elementary school and pre-school and sappy parents.

Fortunately, with our boys attending different schools, we dodged an awkward conflict with Beckett and Carson not going back to school on the same day this year. At some point, we will not be so lucky.

Beckett’s first day of second grade was largely uneventful. He was excited — probably a bit too much — to see who was in his class and meet his teacher. Because he was so amped for going back to school, the emotions did not really run high that day. He was prepared and seemed ready for us to move on with our day after he got settled at his desk. When I asked for a photo with some of his classmates, an eyeball wandered upward a bit in what might have been his first version of an eye roll.

On the other hand, Carson’s first day on Tuesday was a huge deal. I blame it partially on the hour fog delay because it gave me more time to dwell on its significance (as if the long weekend wasn’t enough).

A wave of parent emotions really creeped up on me as he sat patiently with his mom in the school lobby with 100 other parents and students waiting for the first bell to ring. It would be the first full day of school for him. That’s probably why it was such a big deal.

Carson turns 6 in November. He has been in school since he turned 3, including summer school for two of those years. On his third birthday, he started with the early intervention program (pre, pre-kindergarten, if you will) through the school system. It feels like he’s been in school a long time, but it’s been half-days previously.

We were apprehensive on how things would begin for him at school. We feared a difficult transition and how he would handle all the changes associated with the first day.

As usual, Carson rose to the occasion. Due to his special needs, I have a tendency to lower my expectations, but he once again reminded me there’s no reason to do that. All along Pam thought he would do great and she was right.

He handled everything in stride and had no problems separating from us. Maybe he really was ready for kindergarten after all.

I don’t think I will ever forget leaving him at his desk while he colored with his teachers. He gave us a hug and went about his business. He knew we were leaving and was fine with it. I feared that part was not going to go well.

As I looked back at the studious little guy, that’s when the sunglasses came in handy.

One more memorable thing occurred on Carson’s first day.

All of those warm feelings of pride apparently distracted me while driving to work after dropping him off. Yes, those feelings were squashed when I noticed a police officer in the middle of the road giving me his version of semaphore on Center Road — you know, the double two finger angled demand to pull off to the side of the road.

Radar had gotten me exceeding the speed limit. It was my fault, but I at least partially blame it on my kid for waging emotional warfare on my soul.

As I waited, I wasn’t feeling too proud anymore, at least of myself. That helped balance things out.

The best back-to-school photo I saw this week was an empty passenger seat in a vehicle.

It was from a parent who reported her child would not let her take his photo and before she could force him he was out of the seat and into the school.

Another great one I saw involved a junior in a Chicago high school who was wearing an oversized Spongebob shirt with a matching lunchbox. The parent or someone wrote, “what did I do wrong?”

I’m not looking forward to either one of those scenarios.

Arcades overwhelm Beckett.

He lost his mind several times over the weekend at Funcade on 9th Street. It was interesting to see what kept his attention and what didn’t at his new favorite place.

As opposed to a year or two ago, he had no interest in the gun games. All he cared about was the games where he won tickets. He wanted to accumulate as many tickets as possible to see what he could get “for free,” as he called it.

Nonetheless, it was fun to watch him enjoy himself as I walked behind carrying his winnings. At the end of Saturday, he had about 400 tickets. He couldn’t decide what to choose after I told him he could not use it on candy. He opted to get a receipt to use later.

The next day, he had much more luck and did well. After buying a couple small things, he couldn’t decide so he again opted for a receipt and charged me with holding on to it so he could buy some sort of game device when we come back “tomorrow.” He’s still asking when we are going back.