Adventures Of Fatherhood – May 31, 2019

Adventures Of Fatherhood – May 31, 2019

Pool days sure have changed over the years.

Some of my favorite memories of my kids have occurred in and around our backyard pool. They learned how to swim there, lost teeth while swimming in it, perfected their cannonballs and diving skills, been hurt from playing too rough and played endless games of basketball, volleyball and Marco Polo.

One of my favorite memories was using the GoPro as a diving stick of sorts. I would put it at the bottom of the pool and record the kids diving down to get it. One video summed at Beckett, who is a talkative type. He vocalizes just about every thought he has, although he’s come a long way with controlling himself. In this particular video, he could be seen talking underwater as he swam toward it. Just as he was about to grab it he mouthed the words, “I got it.” The video then goes on to show him throwing the camera toward his brother once he emerged from the water. While too young to dive and get it himself at this point, Carson was able to catch it and then throw it on the pool deck. That was the end of the GoPro’s functioning days, but the photos and videos were salvaged.

There have been some memories as well that I wish never took place.

Beckett went to the emergency room one Sunday afternoon when he was 4 years old for striking his chin on the side of the pool after ignoring repeated requests to stop jumping backwards into the pool. During a particularly rough spell when he was 6 years old, Carson pushed a huge flower pot into the pool, resulting in the liner tearing and soiled water from a huge amount of dirt. That was a moment I will never forget, but it’s a reminder of how far he has come over the years with behavior and general wellbeing.

One constant over the years has been the kids’ shared refusal to let me relax while in the pool with them.

We went swimming one night after work and school this week and I was literally playing football with one and basketball with another. Balls were flying everywhere. All I truly wanted to do was lounge on a raft, but I kept telling myself one day they will want nothing to do with me. While I know that’s true and I do my best to relish these days, there is no denying they can be exhausting.

School becomes a challenge for everyone once Memorial Day comes and goes.

I think it’s a three-way tie when it comes to who’s more anxious for summer break — the students, parents or teachers.

For the students, at least the two in my house, concentration levels have reached an all-time nadir. After a long weekend and a taste of summer living with late bedtimes and no early-morning wake-up calls, they are just not into it anymore.

I listened to Beckett equivocate for 15 minutes in the car the other night after soccer practice how a year-end reading test on “Treasure Island” is not as important as his parents think. He gave an entertaining argument. When I asked what he expects to be on the test, he meandered through generalities with an explanation that was nonsensical. The bottom line was he had a study guide to use and the test was this coming Monday. We have been forcing him all week to study here and there. He has done so because we make him, but he’s also banking on stepping up his studying Sunday night.

Carson is pretty much going through the motions. It’s not a fight to get him to do his homework as much as his big brother, but when he puts his bookbag away at night now he tosses it much harder and immediately takes off his shirt and points outside. He’s got summer fever for sure.

For the parents, we still care and have an example to set, but work distractions have mounted with the mercury and exhaustion has blunted the priorities. We are also more forgetful at this point in the school year. One day this week I saw a bunch of kids in Carson’s school wearing their blue ribbon shirts and panicked assuming we forgot something. I figured I would be running home and bringing back a shirt immediately. It wouldn’t be the first time. I later realized from a teacher the blue shirt day didn’t pertain to Carson’s class.

For the teachers, they are the least obvious with their late spring school fatigue because they have to be professional. The signs of summer’s approach are still there, however. They just do a better job of masking it. They surely sense with the kids a certain “out to lunch” mentality these days. Some of them likely even share it.

That’s why I like when teachers don’t completely do away with all academics in the final weeks of school. A test or two over the last couple weeks helps give the kids and parents something to focus on rather than sun and fun.

Whether anyone truly cares about the grade that comes home, however, is another matter altogether.

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.