Adventures Of Fatherhood – February 3, 2017

Adventures Of Fatherhood – February 3, 2017
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We headed for the mountains last weekend for a family vacation.

We didn’t exactly travel light, as we packed all our essential belongings and moved to our rented house at Deep Creek Lake for eight nights. We had such a great vacation last year we decided to do it all over again.

We were there to ski as much as possible, but we also knew the weather forecast was not looking entirely cooperative for the first part of the trip.

The weather held true with temperatures in the 60s and 50s the first couple days, followed by snow and then some more snow. As a result, we got to enjoy the best of both worlds the area has to offer.

Some of the highlights included:

•During the spring-like temperatures, we ventured for a hike through the nearby Swallow Falls State Park. While I’m partial to Assateague when it comes to state parks, Swallow Falls is a must see. It features an easy terrain for hiking, some river rapids and the largest waterfall in Maryland.

When we told the kids our plans for the day, both were not overly enthused about going on a hike because it was unknown to them. We ignored them and their complaints (something that seems to be happening more and more lately), remembering well the time when Beckett years ago whined about going to Jolly Roger Amusement Park because he was unfamiliar with it and accustomed to Frontier Town.

While there were the occasional complaints about walking so much in muddy conditions and questions about whether Pokemon Go would work, the kids really enjoyed themselves. Carson’s highlight of the adventure was his tall walking stick he found, used the entire way and brought home.

•We have known for a long time that Beckett is a talker. If you know him, you know that’s an understatement. The boy always has a lot on his mind and he has a burning desire to express himself verbally at all times. If he’s not talking, it’s usually due to him being asleep.

As he has gotten older, he has gotten better at restraint but it’s a work in progress. He’s even learned about the importance of a filter and will oftentimes whisper to me what he wants to say since it’s inappropriate.

While skiing last week, there were several times on the mountain when we came across Beckett with his ski school instructor and fellow “students.” We could oftentimes hear him before we saw him.

There was one particular day he lucked out. Nobody in the school was at the level to go on the lift yet, so he had a one-on-one instructor for the day. He learned a lot that day.

We skied the same run several times with him, while not trying to interfere with his lesson and enjoying some time as husband and wife. At one point, Pam and I stopped mid-run to take some video of him. As he and his instructor went by, I could hear him asking questions, most of which I couldn’t decipher due to the snow and wind. One question I did hear as he made his turns down the mountain effortlessly was, “does your husband have cool dreads like you do?”

On another, he was skiing effortlessly and I heard the instructor ask him why he was chewing on his glove. He said, “because it’s like my own private water bottle when I bite on it.”

•Because he picked it up so easily last year, we knew Beckett would have a great week skiing. It came easy to him. Carson was a bit of a different story. Although he was willing to try it and did well, he was not as adventurous, which was fine by us.

It’s an odd thing having different expectations for your children, but that’s the reality in our home on many levels. With Carson’s special needs, our hopes were simple — that he would have fun and be safe. With Beckett, there were the same goals but added to that was that he would get to explore other parts of the mountain and become more proficient.

After the first day of ski school, I wasn’t sure Carson was going to make it the whole week. As soon as he saw me at the bottom of the bunny hill, he reached his arms out for me to pick his 70-pound body up. Later he let us know his legs and feet were really sore. The next morning that was still the case as he hobbled around the place.

We assured him he could push through. He did just that and by the end of the week he was turning and stopping all by himself. In fact, his instructor wanted to take him up on the lift for a run on the last day. Right or wrong, we decided we weren’t ready for that yet.

•Hot tubs are typically for relaxing but not if you add in an 8-year-old and a 7-year-old.

We capped off every day on vacation with some hot tub time at our rental house. There’s nothing better after a day of skiing than that. The only issue was the kids made it the opposite of relaxing. They would argue over who had which seat, how high the jets should go and whether it was snowing hard or barely at all.

That’s when I realized under water — no matter how hot — was the only place to find relaxation.

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.