If he had his druthers, Carson would pick his mom over his dad for most things.
An example would be every night at bedtime. Pam and I switch kids each night when it comes to tucking them in. That’s a phrase I’m sure they both would cringe at hearing. Carson, 7, invariably hunches his shoulder in disappointed fashion on my nights and asks for his mom instead. The same goes for who he sits next to while out to eat and who makes his dinner at home.
I’ve come to accept it. It doesn’t really bother me. I’m okay in his book and we always have fun when we’re together. It’s just that he think his mom is unbelievably awesome. That’s understandable because it’s true.
What was interesting this past week was how his preference shifted to me during the conversation of what morning he wanted to do the book fair at school. Based on work and meetings, we typically have a set schedule of who takes who on what days with his grandmother filling in when we both have conflicts.
When Pam asked which day he wanted to do the book fair at his school, he said Monday. I reminded him that’s a day I take him. He left his mom’s side, came over and put his arm around me.
After a little bit, we realized what was going on. Pam said you want to go on a daddy day because he will buy you more. He was emphatic about that being the case.
At one point, he had 15 books in his arms for checkout. It was a minor victory to me to get him to reduce that to eight. He and Pam must have talked about the book fair previously because he told me on his device that mom said three books. He then grabbed my hand, pulling me down and gave me a kiss.
I know when I’m needed as well as when I just got worked over.
The fact each of my children exhibits empathy routinely makes me proud.
It’s these times when they demonstrate an awareness of others’ feelings and show sympathy and compassion when I am most proud of my sons.
The most recent example came from Beckett. He’s a vivacious 9-year-old who likes to push the limits when it comes to just about every facet of life. He’s what I like to call a live wire who is passionate about many things, including expressing himself verbally as often as possible. In other words, he loves to talk and oftentimes his gift of gab gets him in trouble because he doesn’t always adhere to the rules in classroom settings as well as general social environments.
While he’s a major work in progress, one thing we have always known about Beckett is he’s kind hearted. He shows that on a daily basis to us through his actions and mannerisms and sometimes even his words.
During a soccer game last weekend, he showed this to an opposing player. It was the championship game for his age group of the Columbus Day weekend tournament at River Soccer Club so the stakes were pretty high.
Near the end of the game Beckett’s team was down a couple goals and the players were ramping up their pressure on the other team. Beckett came in high for a tackle and ended up cleating an opposing player in the leg. Once play halted to tend to the injured player, Beckett immediately ran over to him, asking if he was okay. He actually laid down on the ground next to the opposing player to let him know how sorry he was and to make sure he was okay. He was so close the ref actually required him to move back and give the boy some space.
His team didn’t win that game, but a silver lining for us was how our son handled that specific situation. He gives us a lot of fits but in this case he made us incredibly proud.
I got to have my annual school lunch with Carson this week.
In case you were unaware like me, this week is National School Lunch Week. Since Pam was taking him later in the day to speech therapy, I volunteered to have lunch with him.
As soon as he saw me, I remembered a subconscious reason why I wanted to do it. The smile on his face when he saw me standing in the cafeteria among a group of parents made my day.
That look made me feel guilty for feeling stressed driving over to his school about taking time away from some work issues that needed my attention. It’s remarkable that for 30 minutes I never thought once about work.
As soon as he saw me, Carson motioned the same thing he did a year ago. He said how I was big and had to sit at a small table. I then crossed my fingers and hoped it would hold me.
It was an uneventful lunch – just the way I prefer it – but I enjoyed spending some time with him in his school environment, even if he did keep eating the chicken off my salad from the school cafeteria.