The Adventures Of Fatherhood – April 3, 2020

Some stories from week two of quarantine, or is it week three? No matter, the days are all running together. Here are some thoughts on our experiences and fortunately today they have nothing to do with chasing after my son in a golf cart.

•There are worse things than having to stay around the house with your family all the time. However, at the risk of sounding insensitive, balance is also important in life.

We are accustomed to being active, juggling work and home responsibilities. A few weeks ago, a typical day for us involved getting the kids ready for school, working, picking up the kids, homework monitoring, driving to a sports practice or game and then ensuring everyone was in bed at a reasonable time. The days were full and usually didn’t result in Pam and I wrapping everything up till about 9 at night.

In some ways, this extended period of school closure and canceled activities has been a welcomed break from our hectic routine. There surely has not been a whole lot of rushing around. There’s nowhere to go and no time to be there. It’s been nice to be free.

In other ways, this lack of a set schedule is so unnatural it’s difficult to process on many levels. This downtime when I am not working has given me too much time to think about the world’s pandemic and wondering about the appearance of this new normal we are facing. Overthinking about the uncertain future is probably the worst way to spend this downtime.

I could learn from my kids in this regard. They are embracing this current world and seem to be less stressed and worried. In fact, they are as laidback as I have ever seen them. The don’t seem to have a care in the world about anything, especially regarding the importance of going to bed at a reasonable time even if there’s no school to get up for the next morning.


Did I mention we need some balance?

•During homeschooling, both kids have been introduced to Zoom, which is now a well-known word around the house. It’s a video conference platform that allows a teacher to lead a class online with all students appearing in a gallery format on the screen.

Beckett has been doing virtual learning for two weeks now. He has daily Zoom sessions with his teachers. He insists on us leaving the room whenever he has a session. We eavesdrop, of course, every time for a bit, especially when we hear footsteps when he should be listening to his teacher. I checked around. Most parents are doing it.

During one session, his science teacher allowed he and his classmates a few minutes to catch up. What resulted was a bunch of silly antics and everyone talking at the same time. His teacher read my mind when she muted everyone as it was her time to teach. She then proceeded through her lesson and assignments, and the kids were given a few minutes to talk amongst themselves at the end. I went downstairs when I heard her come back on and announce she was signing off since everyone was being silly. These kids seem to have adapted just fine. It doesn’t appear they miss school yet.

Carson had his first Zoom session with his classmates and teachers this week. It was a bit overwhelming for him. He hid behind the laptop the entire time, poking his head around to be seen by his classmates and teachers only when he heard laughing. Going in, I had a bet with Pam the over/under on his screen time was three minutes. After a few seconds of seeing himself, he was gone. He sat and listened, but he wanted nothing to do with being seen. The result was a moving beach scene I placed where Carson’s face should have been.

•One day this week I challenged Carson to keep track of how many basketball shots he made. There has been a lot of basketball playing in our driveway in recent weeks. The first day he made 44 shots. On another day, which happened to be rainy, Carson said, “zero”. I joked with him his math lesson for the day would be to tell me what was greater the baskets he made or the cookies he had eaten. When I went to put the math question on paper, I put a zero and asked how many cookies he had. He said three, which I laughed off as ridiculous. He put the less than sign after the zero. I told him at least he got that right because the cookies estimate was way off. He then ran off to the pantry and hid somewhere with a few more cookies.

•It was around 3 in the afternoon. When I told the boys the school work was done for the day, I left their bedrooms, saying, “you guys can have a break, but you can’t stay on electronics the rest of the night.”

As I closed the door, I couldn’t help but smile. I could hear each boy laughing as I walked down the stairs. They knew the statement came with little to no teeth. In reality, I was thinking do what you want, just leave me out of it and don’t get hurt.

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.