The Adventures Of Fatherhood – November 27, 2020

My kids have a way of simplifying life for me, helping to keep the journey in perspective.

In these times, it’s so welcomed because there’s not much straightforward about life right now.

I spent last Friday with Carson at home in virtual learning. Pam will be with him during the week so long as schools are closed. The least I can do is give her a spell on Fridays.

I was impressed with how far Carson, 11, has come since September with his independence. He still needs help but it’s more in the realm of guidance now when before it was handholding and directing. There were several occasions when he flat out pushed my hand off the iPad to let him do it as I was not doing something properly or, more likely, as quickly as he desired.

As we worked through his subjects, there were instances when I had to really keep him focused. It’s to be expected because we are home and there’s a lot of distractions, including unstable internet on this particular day on our end for some reason.

When it came time for math, I quickly realized he doesn’t need me at all to work through his lesson with Mr. Lloyd. While he doesn’t require help, I learned as soon as I tried to get up he wanted me there. In his nonverbal way, I was able to garner he wanted an audience as he rocked the material. It was a delight to watch him run through the lesson and at one point enter an answer to the teacher’s question in the Zoom chat. He didn’t need my help one bit. He just wanted me to observe how well he did.

In life, especially during these crazy times, we must seek the silver lining in everything. As much as I loathe virtual learning for my kid and all others, the positive in this situation was the tremendous inspiration I get to take in from my special needs son.

Next Friday I’m going to try and leave him alone at the computer during math class. He might not let me, but there’s worse things in the world in all honesty.


The difference in appearance between Beckett’s mask before and after school is always interesting.

Everything looks clean and in good shape at morning drop-offs. By the time he gets home, the inside of it is filthy on most days. It looks sometimes as if he’s drinking or eating out of it.

While I am grateful he’s wearing it appropriately – at least most of the time — I have to wonder how it gets so dirty. He told me one day he often puts his Invisalign trays in his mask, which he dangles from his ears, while he eats lunch. I told him that probably explains the color change on the inside. He reminded me he puts the trays in the Invisalign case first and then puts it in his mask. I told him it’s a mystery to me how dirty his mask becomes. He simply shrugged his shoulders, saying, “I guess we should wash it then.” By “we” he meant me or his mom, of course.

Nonetheless, a big difference between us is I can’t get beyond the mystery of the dirty mask. I asked him the next morning to focus on how his mask gets so dirty during the day. When I picked him up and looked at the inside of his mask, it was orange. I figured it was his orange Gatorade at lunch. He said he didn’t spill it, but, “I will ask tomorrow.”

I have no idea who he plans on asking. He didn’t know either. The conversation did not his attention. I am starting to realize there will be puzzling conversations with our 12-year-old. There seem to be more and more of these of late.


A little blast from the past from 2017 this week:

Carson, 9, cracks me up on a daily basis without saying a word.

On Thanksgiving, my sister came up with a game involving gratitude. While going through the alphabet, each person would say what they were grateful for with that particular letter and she would write it down. We told Carson he could use his device to say what he wanted to put on the list. Because he’s smart, Carson immediately went right to the geography page in his device. He loves the subject of geography and knows all the state capitals. Therefore, he was thankful for Alabama, Boston, California, Dallas, Eugene, Ore., Frankford, Del., Georgia, Havre de Grace, Md., Illinois, Jefferson City, Mo. and the list goes on.

When we asked him to try something different because we weren’t buying that he was thankful for North Dakota, he began recounting school subjects, objects and toys he was grateful for instead. He got us all good when he said Kit-Kat bars.

Another example was last weekend I had a grocery store list in the works on the counter. I walked away for a few minutes and noticed some new additions to the list. At first, I just figured Pam had added things I forgot. It turns out Carson had come across the list and quickly added, “Beer, bananas, water,” to the list in his own handwriting.

When it came time to hit the grocery store, he came running over to the door. When I told him I just wanted to make this run by myself, he made it clear he didn’t want to come. He pointed to “beer” on the list, padded me on the chest and giggled to himself as he ran back upstairs to his room. As I was walking out the door, a shirt fell on my head. I looked up and there was shirtless Carson rubbing his belly. I’m not sure what that was about, but it was hilarious.

It’s the little things I tell you.

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.