Adventures Of Fatherhood – March 2, 2018

Adventures Of Fatherhood – March 2, 2018

The wave of illnesses sweeping through kids these days has gotten in my head.

Pam and I have been expecting one or both of our boys to go down while hoping for the best. That’s why at the first sign of anything off we have been proactive and trying to prevent a sniffle, for example, from becoming something altogether different.

Last Friday, after spending a few hours at an open gym at the Berlin Activities Center, I remarked to Pam how I didn’t think Beckett was feeling well. He was lethargic and just wanted to relax. That’s very much unlike him.

He answered “fine” to repeated questions as to how he was feeling. He was just tired. I wasn’t buying it until I got a look at his FitBit and it said he recorded 25,000 steps that day. Since I had only managed half of that and was exhausted, I eased up on my concerns about his health.

A couple days later I noticed he was looking pale and his eyes didn’t seem right. It seemed he wasn’t 100 percent. He again said all was good. Later that night as I checked on him before bed I felt his forehead and he was burning up. I went to bed thinking he was going to be feeling rough the next day. By the next morning, he was fine. That night I again checked on him and he was burning up. He was fine, however, the next day. It turns out he’s just a hot sleeper.

The same obsession with illness applies to Carson. From another room the other night, I heard him cough once and then again. Before I could get up to check on him, Pam was digging through a medicine cabinet for cough suppressant. When she couldn’t immediately find one, she was out the door and returned from the pharmacy with $50 worth of medicine to treat anything from the common cold, flu and headache to an irritable stomach, vomiting and sore throat.

All of that came in handy come Tuesday night when Carson clearly was getting sick. By Wednesday morning, he was down for the count and unable to go to school.

After a couple hours with him at home that morning, I suddenly started feeling ill. That’s when he and I took an hour nap together on the couch. If I didn’t have whatever was ailing him before, I realized it would only be a matter of time until I did because he had his hand clinched around my neck to prevent escape. We were face to face on the couch, and he breathed directly on me for the last hour.

As expected, the next day I was hurting as well.


I wrapped up my first year of coaching youth basketball last month.

I’ve coached in the past and learned a long time ago it’s much harder than playing, although Beckett disagrees wholeheartedly with that point.

This was my first foray into basketball after coaching soccer and lacrosse previously. At the ages of 8 and 9 years old, most of the same issues surface in all youth sports. There’s too much bunching up, a wide disparity in skills, defense comes much easier than offense, nothing beats a kid’s positive attitude and coaches can only do so much.

In our league at Northside Park, we won as many games as we lost. The nice thing was we were competitive in every game.

Coaching your kid is difficult because it’s natural to be harder on him. With your own child, you can be a little tougher and critical. It works out with Beckett because he has thick skin and learns best along the way from mistakes or bad decisions.

The most memorable moments for me as a dad coach was when I got to see his pure emotion on display from a close vantage point. I will forget the time Beckett hit the game-winning shot with under 30 seconds left and the thrill on his face. It was a mixture of shock that he made the shot with pure exhilaration and pride. That expression of joy was priceless, and I got to see it from a few feet away because I was coaching.

Although I think he would prefer to never think about it again, we had the exact opposite situation play out as well. A last-minute heave in another game won it for our opponent, and my son asked the ref to review whether the guy’s foot was on the three-point line. The ref laughed but Beckett was serious because a two-pointer would not have beaten us.

Another memorable time came when one of our players was asked to take off his cross necklace during a game with only a couple minutes left. Due to his family’s faith and the fact he couldn’t easily get it off without the beads falling to the floor, he wasn’t able to play the rest of the game. The next day he showed up with a cross his sister had sewed on to his jersey. That was a special thing.

There were some other forgettable moments as well. One would be the time my son lost his composure and fouled out after getting four fouls in a two-minute span. There was the time we had to play four on four because only four players showed up. There was the time I complained to the refs and had to be reminded of the example I was setting.

That was not one of my finest moments, but I’m a competitive guy.

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.