The Adventures Of Fatherhood-August 30, 2019

Eleven weeks ago, I was ready for a change in routine. Now, I’m looking forward to the return of one.

As school approaches next week, I’m excited to return to the days of set schedules.

While summer is fantastic in many respects, especially the warm weather, it’s also the busiest time of the year in our work world. Hectic would be an understatement to describe our professional life. Add two growing boys going in different directions each day to various activities at disparate times of day and the result is often a lot of running.

Over this past week, there were no summer camps, summer school or sitters. As a result, there was a lot more juggling, which makes everything far more complicated. For me, that means stress because I like to keep things simple as much as possible.

Though I’m looking forward to school starting and the return of a set schedule of drop-offs and pickups, I suspect there will be a brutal adjustment for the kids.

For Beckett, 11, the biggest thing will be the return to a more appropriate bed time and earlier mornings. Our rising sixth grader has become a night owl this summer. It’s common for him to still be awake when it’s time for us to go to bed. Though we make him turn in when we do, he always bemoans the fact. When the next morning at 8 comes and it was time to head off to camp, he was always sluggish. When he must be at school next week by 8, I’m thinking there will be some major struggles for him.

As for Carson, 9, he’s entering his last year of elementary school as a rising fourth grader. We always go through an adjustment month or two with Carson and school. I’m hopeful that will not be the case this year, but it’s expected. Until he is comfortable with his new teachers, surroundings and routine, there can be some trying days for him as he seeks a comfort level with his new normal.

While the return of school days, early mornings and homework can bring a certain amount of stress to the household, I’m looking forward to it. One month from today I may be eating those words, but for now I think school starting is a good thing for all of us.


Living in a home for sale is not a lot of fun, but my kids seem to be fine with it.

Over the last month, Pam and I worked hard to get most of our personal belongings out of the house so it’s ready to be seen by potential buyers. The result of those efforts is a house with not a lot in it. While it’s refreshing in many ways, there was a lot of moving and cleaning involved while trying to enjoy summer with the kids and work.

Most unused and bulky furniture has been removed from rooms. As part of the process of decluttering and prioritizing, we asked each kid to come up with what they wanted to keep in their room for the time being.

At their young ages of 11 and 9 years old, neither kid is particularly nostalgic and had only a few requests for things they wanted to keep with them during the home selling process.

I was especially proud of Carson, who cut his stuffed animal collection in half and was willing to do away with his train tables and most of his books for the immediate future.

As for Beckett, he didn’t express much of an interest in the process. He wanted to ensure his television and gaming system stayed in place as well as his collection of karate belts and his black belt he earned two years ago. He did ask to keep his tackling dummy. When I told him he doesn’t have one, he said, “exactly, that’s why I want one.” Other than that silliness, he was fine with most books, clothes, trophies and pictures being stashed away for a while. I actually wonder if he even cares whether he ever sees them again.

While we donated a lot of clothes that are too small, age inappropriate books and the like, I was hoping we would be trashing more things in this process. That’s at least what I was thinking during the effort of packing and carrying about 80 boxes to storage over the last few weeks.

Once the house was as ready as it could be for listing on the market, the kids truly realized what was happening here in their world. The days of leaving shoes strewn around the house, clothes tossed in a hamper, tooth brushes on counters, drink cups on tables and various other disheveled habits are in the past. When they slip up, their parents are there to remind them that blanket doesn’t belong balled up on a couch and that cup has a better home than an end table.

Both boys now have chores to help us keep the house ready to be shown at any given time. These chores get done sometimes to our liking, but more often than not require us doubling back after them to ensure all is as it should be. Once the boys have given it a shot and I make my adjustments, Pam usually goes behind us and makes her tweaks.

Nowadays, with showings occurring and us having to get out of the house often, the kids assume the house will sell immediately. Rather than the familiar “Are we there yet?” on road trips, we are hearing, “are we moving yet?” after each group tours the house.

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.