The Adventures Of Fatherhood-July 26, 2019

The Adventures Of Fatherhood-July 26, 2019

Change always seems to be blowing around my house.

There was a time not too long ago when we were out of the house heading to the beach, the pool or to a water park first thing on weekend mornings. The kids were always up no later than 6 in the morning so after an hour or two around the house we were ready to get off to what we were doing for the day. If memory serves me right, it wasn’t actually Pam and I who were ready to walk out the door. It was the kids and their activity levels that forced us to get outside.

I can remember one rainy summer weekend day when I decided to let Pam sleep in. We didn’t have anything planned and the beach was out since it was going to be wet all day. I don’t recall the exact time, but I know it was before 7 in the morning and I had the kids in the backyard. The boys were 6 and 4 years old then.

Neither were behaving, and both were actually being jerks to each other on this particular morning. Since they couldn’t get along and divide up the playground set (each wanted what the other had all the time), I decided to take them in the pool in the rain. The only place they weren’t annoying me was under the water.

It felt like we spent a lot of time in the pool in the pouring rain. After what I figured had to be a couple hours outside goofing around, we came back in with the thoughts of lunch in my head. It turned out to only be 8:30 a.m. and it felt like an entire day. Maybe it was the rain, but it was more likely just the rambunctious and mischievous ways of two young kids.

Nowadays, both Beckett, 11, and Carson, 9, are much slower moving in the mornings. Beckett really loves to sleep, while Carson just truly enjoys being at home.

Beckett has become a night owl and likes to sleep in. We have to force him to turn his lights off when we go to bed each night. Getting him up in the morning around 8:30 for camp during the weekdays is even a struggle. This is in stark contrast to the norm from many years ago when his energy level had us outside trying to knock the edge off by 7 a.m.

While Carson does not sleep late, rarely ever past 6 a.m., he goes to bed around 8 every night. Like most kids on the spectrum, he lives best with a schedule. The early to bed, early to rise routine works just fine for me. When he stays up too late, we see behaviors and it’s best for him to turn in early. He seems to want to as well.

Last weekend, I told everyone if we were going to the beach I wanted to go early to set up. The grunts from Beckett and Carson clearly revealed their disdain for that idea. They instead wanted to have a lazy morning and hang around the pool all day.

As I tried to mount an argument in my head to persuade them, I quickly gave up, realizing time at home with the kids and around a pool is just fine. Sooner or later, they won’t want to do anything with us.

The only problem was at 10 in the morning Pam, Carson and me were in the pool and Beckett still wasn’t awake. We left him a note to come out back after eating his breakfast, but he never came.

“What’s the rush? We have all day,” the 11-year-old of the house said to me as I encouraged him to get up, tossing a bathing suit his way.

I just can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like when he’s a teenager.


Beckett had soccer practice this week. He actually didn’t, but we were there anyway.

For some reason, I thought Beckett had a summer soccer practice with his team on Wednesday. We packed his clothes to take with him to camp (the exception being one of the key items, his cleats, never made it into his bag). We found that out on the drive to this fictional soccer practice.

The practice schedule was clearly communicated to parents and I just messed up. It was to start next Wednesday and not this week.

As we pulled into River Soccer Club, I thought something seemed off because it was empty, but we were early by a few minutes. I checked my phone to doublecheck the practice time and quickly realized what I had done. I mixed up the dates.

Though he can be a live wire at times, Beckett has mellowed quite a bit and this was an instance. His reaction was more of a relief since he was going to be playing with sneakers on. He did quickly take advantage of the situation, saying I owed him McDonalds as a result.

As I left the fields, I was saying to myself, “Hey, at least we were early.”

Has anything like this ever happened to any of you? A typical parent’s brain is scatterbrained. There was a time when I was organized and I do still keep a detailed calendar (incorrectly occasionally evidently) that keeps me going where and when I need to go. I just can’t keep up at times with the schedules.

It’s comforting for me to just assume something lamebrained like this has happened at some point in others’ parenting journeys.

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.