The Adventures Of Fatherhood – February 28, 2020

For a couple years, Beckett has wanted to break a body part.

In his mind, the fact he hasn’t fractured something or suffered a major injury means he’s not playing hard enough. Refraining from too much dialogue on the suspect nature of that subject requires restraint.

His time – or close to it — came last Thursday, the final night of his recreation basketball league at Northside Park. He’s played a lot of sports in his young life, but he’s never had to be carried off the field or had a coach come out to tend to an injury he sustained. His streak was snapped last week.

It was in the final minutes of our last game when he went for a steal from another player and dislocated his thumb. He was in a lot of pain and was unable to finish the game. A teammate’s dad, who is a chiropractor, checked him out and was able to relocate the thumb on the spot. For the last week, he has worn a thumb brace and had to sit out practices and physical education classes to ensure the ligaments around it healed properly. He’s fortunate to have “PE” class four times a week usually. It was bearable for him to miss because he says, “I’m terrible at floor hockey.”

Though we thought “benching” him from any activities was going to be challenging, Beckett seemed to relish it actually. He wore his brace with pride and even tried to intensify the situation, questioning if he would be able to do any of his school work because of the injury. It was like he was dipping his toe in the water when he said it last weekend. He didn’t seem surprised by the quick response from us.

It’s important to point out it was the thumb on his left hand he hurt and he’s right handed. Some milking was at play. After a few days, his only regret in the whole thing was it wasn’t his writing hand. That’s when we knew he was feeling better.


“Why does this always have to be the most stressful part of my day?”

That’s what I told my boys driving to school one day this week. It’s not the first morning I said something along those lines in a stern fashion on these commutes, but they weren’t fazed. They seemed to think it was hilarious.

Actually, I don’t think they even heard me the first time because they were too busy in the back seat making each laugh messing up each other’s hair and fake tapping each other on the shoulder (which could be its own column some day).

Though the car ride can be full of silly antics (annoying at times), it’s the whole getting out of the house process each morning that’s most stressful.

The mornings typically start out smoothly with Carson, 10, always up by 7 a.m. with his bed perfectly made. He sets his alarm each morning and he pops up and does a wonderful job making his bed. It’s a mature new development.

On the complete opposite end is his big brother Beckett, who is a zombie in the morning. It’s a fight to get him to go to bed at a reasonable hour each school night and equally challenging to get him up. It’s funny to me because I don’t get him up until 7:15 each school day to be at school by 8 a.m. Meanwhile, he has friends who live in Delaware who must meet the bus before 7 a.m. to get to school by 8 a.m.

The getting up process usually involves me physically pulling him out of bed to get dressed. Threats are often required. Then come the equivocating over the unfairness aspect of his life. One morning this week there was a fog delay, meaning he got to sleep in. When it came time to get him out of bed – 8:15 – he complained how tired he was because he had to watch the ending of the Bucks-Raptors game the night before. I reminded him he was only allowed to stay up a few minutes later on the condition he would be no trouble the next morning. I should have known better.

As tremendous as Carson is at getting out of bed and making his bed, he is typically the culprit for most of the stressful start to the day. He’s a kid who doesn’t do well with being rushed. Therefore, we always keep him on a schedule, reminding him how much time remains until we have to leave the house and what’s left to be done, such as getting dressed and brushing his teeth. At least once every couple weeks, he objects to an outfit his mom or I picked out for him. It could be the socks don’t feel right. The shirt bothers him for some reason. The pants are not soft enough. He has decided underwear will not be required on this particular day. When this happens, I usually have to run Beckett to school and then come back to get Carson while Pam sorts through things.

On the mornings when the goal of getting out of the house by 8 is accomplished, the ride to school with both boys – again it’s just a mile — usually gets my heart rate up. It’s good natured fun, but they seem to enjoy getting each other crazy, which in turns causes the same for me.

All this explains why I usually drive to work after both kid drop-offs in complete silence. It’s a healing time.

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.