The Adventures Of Fatherhood – November 8, 2019

It was early, but it was hilarious.

On Sunday, the first morning after daylights savings time ended, Carson came into our room around 7 a.m. This is normal each morning. He jumps out of bed, runs (or more like stomps) to our room to look at the digital clock on the dresser.  If the time is before 6 a.m., he often jumps in with us, as we have asked him not to get up before the clock says 6 a.m. No matter the time, there is one thing we can count on with Carson. When he leaves his room, his bed will be made and his weighted blanket will be spread out neatly across the floor for folding.

On this particular morning, after entering our room, he pointed at the alarm clock across the room and seemed confused. The clock read 7 a.m. and we were still in bed. We reminded him about the whole “spring forward and fall back” concept.

In his nonverbal way, we could tell he was baffled looking at the clock. He was wondering if it was the right time because the sun was coming up. I told him something along the lines of, “it’s not right, I haven’t turned the clock back yet.”

He didn’t appear worried and seemed to have it all under control. He simply turned the clock backwards, so the numbers were no longer facing us. He made sure we knew what he did and ran out of the room laughing.

We love his sense of humor even if it was super early on a Sunday.


Middle school has brought a lot of changes for Beckett, including the introduction of band.

The nightly trombone practice sessions have kept things lively around the house. It actually doesn’t sound terrible most of the time and he seems to know a few notes, though it’s impossible to not mistake the sound coming from his trombone at times for passing gas. That fact is certainly not lost on our middle schooler.

This fall’s introduction to instruments has brought back some memories. When I was in school, I was assigned the cello. I was convinced at that time it was because I was a big kid and my teacher knew I could handle lugging it to and from school each day. It certainly wasn’t due to my prowess, as I found it challenging, or my gentle way with it, as I broke a few bows that I can remember. I also recall never being able to keep track of the rosin needed to keep my bow in good shape. I believe that was an excuse for the sound emanating from the cello.

In Beckett’s case, his assigned instrument is the trombone, which is clearly much louder than the cello. He seems to be having a lot of fun with this member of the brass family, though the 15-minute required practice sessions each day are not always greeted with cheers when we remind him. It’s not that he doesn’t enjoy it. It’s more not feeling like he’s good at it currently.

What I have noticed about these practice periods is he will not stand still. He prefers to march and dance around while playing it. When I asked him if that tendency was due to the Trombone Shorty concert videos we showed him after a recent show we caught, he said he had forgotten about viewing them.

This sort of response has become pretty typical from our 11-year-old boy who seems to waver in and out of clear consciousness depending on the minute and the subject. I should have known better to think he was impacted to that degree by something I showed him. He said the trombone is meant for a marching band, and he wants to be sure he can play the notes while moving around.

I didn’t have the heart to tell him his school does not have a marching band at this time. Therefore, we will just have to deal with the roving trombone player as he wanders through the house practicing. He begins in his room making his various sounds (usually followed by some sort of ‘dad, did you hear that one, sound familiar?’). I am usually unclear if he’s referring to flatulence or if he’s asking me if I know the song he just played. While I like to think it’s the latter, I know it’s more likely the former. He is 11 years old after all.

My response is typically there’s a music book with his trombone full of notes. I understand he hasn’t learned them all, but I know he can read music. He seems to prefer to play off the cuff, or as he describes it “free flow,” which I take to mean play whatever and however he wants whenever.

The result of that being a wide range of sounds. It occasionally resembles music but more often it’s a series of loud bursts strung together as long as he can muster the breath output.

Of this learning the instrument period, his music teacher advised us parents early in the school year to “embrace the squeak.” We are doing just that.

At back to school night, his teacher told the parents of a band concert in December. From hearing my son’s practice sessions, it’s hard to believe in six weeks or so he and his classmates will be performing together on stage. For me, it happens to fall on my birthday. It should be a memorable one.

About The Author: Steven Green

Alternative Text

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.