Fatherhood Adventures – September 16, 2016

Fatherhood Adventures – September 16, 2016
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Sports teaches kids a lot of things, including humility.

Beckett, 8, had two soccer games last Saturday, one for his recreation team and another for his club team. His team won the “rec” game, 4-2, and he played a strong game. A few hours later, his club team lost, 3-1, and he didn’t play well.

One of the great things about kids is their resiliency. He was upset for a little bit and clearly disappointed initially, saying, “that was a terrible game, we didn’t play good at all.”

When I asked him if he learned anything from it, he went off on a tangent about how the parents of the boy who tripped him accidentally in the game ought to be giving him a good chewing. I tried a couple times to point out a couple things I observed during the game, but I quickly decided it was best for me to let it go and bring it up later.

It was amazing that within a few minutes it was as if the game never happened. He shook it off in quick fashion.

It was the same way after his morning “rec” game that his team won. He was excited for a few minutes and then moved on to whatever else was going on at that moment.

He lives for the moment and doesn’t harp on things, good or bad. There’s something to admire about that approach, although I’m not built that way at this point in my life.

The second week of school I expected early morning problems.

I figured with the first week the excitement would be enough to get both kids out of bed with no worries at all. That was indeed the case.

The excitement apparently continued into this week for Carson, 6, who is staying true to his reputation thus far as an early riser. If we are lucky, Carson will sleep past 6 in the morning. If we are not, he will be up around 5 and despite our many attempts and encouragements he will not go back to sleep. That’s unfortunate because we know what the end result will be later — a crazy and tired child.

On the opposite extreme is Beckett, who has found the love of sleep. The only issue with him is getting him to sleep. He’s never ready to turn in for the night and oftentimes “mad dad” or forceful mom has to appear to get him upstairs and ready for bed at a decent hour.

Like most families, we have school night bedtimes and are more lax on weekend nights. An argument against that approach would be the struggles that often arise, particularly on Sunday night. I found myself debating the semantics of that night with my son the other night before realizing all he was really trying to do was extend the time he was allowed to stay up. He got me for a few minutes of dialogue before I got wise to his antics.

The good thing about Beckett is once he accepts it’s bedtime he’s usually down and out in short order. I equate leaving his room at night to pulling the plug on him. He typically is asleep within minutes and nothing wakes him up.

The bad side of that is waking him up can be challenging. He’s lucky that we live less than a mile from his school. Therefore, he doesn’t need to get out of bed till 7:15 in the morning to have his breakfast, get dressed and be at school by 8.

Up until this week, I don’t think he realized how lucky he was to live that close to school. He was ranting how he wanted to ride the bus like his friends because they get to play electronics before and after school for an hour each way. When I informed him how much earlier he would have to wake up, he quickly changed his tune to feeling sorry for his buddies and wanting to have sleepovers on school nights.

With Beckett, there’s not a lot of quiet time. He usually fills any peaceful moments with chatter about his take on certain things or questions about this or that.

Oftentimes, he just rambles and says silly things that have nothing to do with anything. It’s just observations or opinions about something at any given time he feels is important. There are times when it’s not always appropriate and positive, particularly if the subject is his little brother. That oftentimes leads to a comment from his parents along the lines of if he doesn’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

Well, with that said, the other morning he surprised Pam with a lovely thought. They were getting ready to leave the house for school and work when she said it was time to go to school. He jumped off the couch and said he was ready.

The rest is best in conversation form as she remembers it.

Pam: You really like going to school don’t you?

Beckett: Yes, of course, it’s fun.

Pam: Yeah, it’s a lot better than staying home all day, right?

Beckett: But I like saying home too. We are a fun family. You know, mom, we sparkle from the inside. So much so people need sunglasses to talk to us.

We have no idea where that came from as neither of us recalls uttering the word “sparkle” ever. Either way, it was a great expression.

About The Author: Steven Green

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The writer has been with The Dispatch in various capacities since 1995, including serving as editor and publisher since 2004. His previous titles were managing editor, staff writer, sports editor, sales account manager and copy editor. Growing up in Salisbury before moving to Berlin, Green graduated from Worcester Preparatory School in 1993 and graduated from Loyola University Baltimore in 1997 with degrees in Communications (journalism concentration) and Political Science.