Phone conversations with my son are always interesting.
Pam and I got away for some live music in New York City last weekend. The only negative to that was it meant we would be missing the kids’ soccer games.
We called on Saturday afternoon to get an update from my mom, who graciously stayed with the kids while we were away. She gave us the rundown on what was happening and we spoke with Beckett.
Phone calls with him have always been interesting. When he was younger, he was pretty clueless on how it works and preferred to touch the buttons in random fashion than actually use it for its intended purpose.
Now we can have a full conversation with him and have a good back and forth. It’s nice to be able to hear his voice while away and hear him describe what’s happening. He detailed his soccer game in his unique fashion and shared his stats, highlighting some moves he made on a couple of his favorite goals.
It’s a far cry from the days when one-word answers accompanied by beeps and tone sounds were the norm and a waning attention span left us often talking to ourselves. I imagine those days will return soon enough during the teen years.
One important thing about talking with Beckett on the phone is to realize when he’s done with the conversation. It’s pretty easy to tell when he’s distracted and just ready to move on to something else.
He simply stops talking and there’s no attempt to mask his disinterest. On this particular occasion, he was in the car driving home from soccer and we could hear the familiar sound of an iPad game amid the silence when we asked him a question. At one point, I assumed he sat the phone down on his lap because he wasn’t responding. We waited him out.
Eventually, he remembered we were on the phone and when we asked how Carson was, he replied, “He’s right here, he’s awake.”
We knew then the conversation was complete, at least from his perspective.
A sense of humor helps at times when it comes to special needs kids.
Not everything is going to go as planned and sometimes just rolling with whatever is going on at any given time is the best way to operate. For someone like me who likes a certain sense of order and routine, that’s not always easy, but Carson reminds me daily it’s a better approach to go with the flow.
During a recent TOPSoccer practice/game at River Soccer Club in Frankford, Carson was playing goalie with his buddy, Cameron.
I have written about this program before, but the concept behind it is to provide an outlet for children with special needs and a variety of disabilities to participate in a uniquely organized sport setting. These sorts of opportunities are few and far between for these kiddos and Carson has participated for the last three years.
It’s a fun afternoon and features a variety of activities that’s capped off with the “big game.” During a game last year, one of the older participants really got a hold of one of the balls, kicking it deep into the woods. It was an odd scene because he just wildly kicked it in the opposite direction of the goal without a care in the world.
I was standing nearby watching Carson and Cameron in goal. After the ball was kicked into the woods, one of the coaches quickly rolled out a new ball and said not to worry about the other one. Carson thought that was hilarious, signing that everyone was crazy. He then picked up the ball to punt and whiffed twice. He then signed that he was crazy too before whiffing again.
It was a hilarious moment.
Both my kids prefer music to television these days.
Whenever I am taking both kids to school, I let them have my phone so they can play disc jockey on the way on the car system.
Beckett gets the first opportunity and we can usually only get one full song in because our journey to school is all of one mile for him. He’s gotten smarter over this first month of school and instead plays the first verse or two of several songs so he gets a taste of a few before he has to get into school. One day this week he showed his diverse tastes. He played partial songs by Bruno Mars, Steve Miller Band, Vance Joy and Michael Franti.
As soon as Beckett gets out for school, Carson is quick to take over and he has equally diverse taste in music. Although their ranges vary, both kids are alike in that they cut off songs early. I have to admit that drives me a little crazy.
On this particular day, Carson’s playlist on our ride to his school included partial songs by Bon Jovi, The Black Eyed Peas, Maroon 5, Andy Grammer and Taylor Swift before he settled on the Kidz Bop station on Pandora.
After school, of course, I listed to Kidz Bop songs the whole way to work without realizing I didn’t have to because there were no kids. That happens a lot more than I wish to admit honestly.