The Adventures Of Fatherhood-August 2, 2019

The Adventures Of Fatherhood-August 2, 2019

Carson takes his mom’s birthday seriously.

I’ve always known that, but this year he confirmed it again.

Pam’s birthday was Tuesday. It was 6 a.m. and I was on our Peloton getting in a workout when I saw Carson come out of his room with his handmade gifts for his mom (thanks to his friend Danielle who gave him a helping hand). He clearly embraces the joy of giving. As he was about to go into our bedroom, I encouraged him quietly to let her sleep in a bit before presenting his gifts. He then made the seven sign with his hand before heading downstairs and leaving them at her door.

That was one of the sweetest moments I have ever seen from Carson. He woke up, retrieved her birthday gifts from wherever he hid them in his room the day before and was excited to give them to her first thing in the morning. It’s amazing to me she was the first thing he thought about as soon as he woke up.

At exactly 7 a.m., Carson was about to head upstairs. I asked him to let her sleep a bit more. While discouraged a bit, he set his watch alarm for 7:30 a.m. He would not be able to contain himself beyond this point.

We walked into our bedroom together, and Carson pushed the bags toward Pam while she was still asleep. He then jumped in bed with her. His gifts were all handmade, including a painting he did on a canvas spelling out the word, “Love.” He followed his gifts up with an incredible hug. It was amazing and so incredibly heartfelt. Pam will never forget this morning, and I’m sure it was the highlight of her birthday.

About 10 hours later, while Beckett, Carson and I were playing basketball in the pool, Carson showed his other side, a dark one that surfaces every now and again out of the blue. He hit his brother hard in the back, grabbed a new ball – the one he and his brother always fight over – and tossed it on the roof of our neighbor’s shed. While it was quite the heave I must admit, I hid my marvel over his toss.

When I wouldn’t get the ladder out to retrieve it, he threw a tantrum and started hitting me, resulting in the end of pool time.

How can he be so wonderful and then be so nasty? Is it Autism, being exhausted or just bad decision making? The answer is probably all of the above. Nonetheless, we choose to celebrate the great while applying consequences for the bad. Each day brings something different and we just hope there’s more good than bad. Fortunately, there’s more to revel than not.


It’s been interesting to hear Beckett’s response to people when they ask how his summer is going.

He almost always says, “good,” with little to no details about all the fun stuff we have been doing. When asked what he’s been up to over the last couple months, I laughed when he replied, “reading and doing book reports.”

His mom and I laughed a lot later when I retold the story of how he vented to a relative about how it’s unfair his school requires summer reading (he must read three books) and “all this writing” (he needs to write three reports on those books).

He doesn’t like it, but I often tell Beckett he’s being ridiculous when he rants and raves about having to read a couple chapters a night of a book. In his mind, it’s summer and he should be able to do whatever he wants whenever his heart desires. He takes the whole summer vacation concept to the extreme.

Although I may be wrong, I personally don’t think it’s too much to ask for his school to require him to read three books over two-and-a-half months. The fact he must write book reports on what he read is also a good thing in my mind.

When I told him this week a lot of people, including his mom and dad, read for fun, he didn’t believe me. He mustered an argument that I must read for my job and I wouldn’t get paid if I didn’t. It’s quite a simplistic way to put it, but he’s not wrong. It’s just a different take I had never thought about.

When it comes time to read, the equivocating from him on how it’s unfair and unreasonable takes more time than actually reading. There have been several times both Pam and I have lost our cool with him and this process. We now simply tell him this is the time we are reading.

When he is forced to do it and concentrates, he likes it. I could just do without the drama. When he removes playing outside, video games and other fun things from his mind, he is fine. It’s the actual thought process of having to do something he doesn’t necessarily enjoy while depriving himself of activities he thoroughly loves that gives him pause.

I am anxious to hear what his response is when we inform him he has a math packet to complete as well before school starts in a month. One thing I can count on he’s not going to be happy.

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.