The Adventures Of Fatherhood – December 18, 2020

My boys vary greatly in their approaches to food and the stark dichotomy never ceases to amaze me.

Eating is one of the highlights of Carson’s day. Despite having gluten and dairy intolerances, Carson, 11, has a love for a variety of foods. It can be challenging with the diet restrictions to diversify his eating habits, but he makes it easier because he’s not picky. He will try anything. If he doesn’t like it, we know immediately because he will literally spit it back out.

The youngest in the house will sample anything we ask, but he will give the stink eye to green foods in general. With his dinner the other night I gave him corn with asparagus and green beans in it. He ate the green beans and corn, but left the asparagus behind. When I asked about it, he put his finger in his mouth and motioned like he was throwing up.

Among Carson’s favorite foods currently are wings, steamed shrimp, strawberry pie, sorbet, bananas, French fries and chicken anyway at all. Carson thoroughly enjoys the act of eating. He seems to cherish it. For example, I left Carson with his lunch on the table the other day while I ran upstairs. When I returned, he had his six wings lined up from smallest to biggest. He was waiting for me to come back to show off how big the last one was, flexing his muscles to indicate that chicken must have been a big one.

For Beckett, 12, eating is akin to pumping gas — something to get done with as quickly and be happy when it’s over. He’s a great eater, but he does not grasp the whole concept of enjoying the food. It’s something to shovel in and be done with. He’s much pickier than his little brother. It’s a shame because he’s missing out on some great foods. Hopefully, he will grow out of his stubborn phase and believe us when we tell him crab imperial, barbecue wings, steamed shrimp, steak and lobster are all delicious.

Nonetheless, we are fortunate because he really likes vegetables. The only veggie I don’t think he likes is Brussel sprouts, and I can’t say I blame him there for one bit.

Beckett’s favorite foods these days are bagels, cheeseburgers, pizza, ice cream, crab cakes, beef tacos, broccoli, corn and cookies. He’s also a nut for candy; so much so we found him one time stashing his Halloween candy under his bed so he could have easier access than going down into the kitchen.

The candy bag has mysteriously disappeared, but I’m responsible for hiding that in a place I can’t remember.


Finding humor in challenging things is a good recipe for life.

If you like to explore the lighter side and enjoy refreshing perspectives mixed in with comedy, Lexington, Ky. Elementary School Principal Gerry Brooks deserves a Google search.

He often posts of his Dollar Tree Lessons where he talks about everyday items he has purchased. One video I found of note recently involved the harsh realities associated with virtual learning. As we stumble through the trials and tribulations of virtual learning, I found this educator’s perspective appropriate.

In this video (partially transcribed here), Brooks is sincere rather than his comedic self. Prior to posting the video, he posted a message the night before saying, “The frustration levels that come with virtual learning are sometimes so overwhelming that I can’t breathe. And if I am feeling that, I can’t imagine how stressful it is for parents.”

I assume his parents found this transparent and honest message refreshing because all too often hot air ruminates from leaders. Blunt talk and ownership of how absurd the current education model is due to the pandemic would be appreciated. Our kids and families are struggling terribly with home school learning. Each family has its own account of how difficult and overwhelming the whole concept is at times.

Brooks has a good way with words so I wanted to share some of his message because I talk with parents constantly who are nearing their wit’s end with balancing work, virtual school, social concerns with their kids and difficult daily decisions to make involving keeping their kids safe versus not being a prisoner to a virus.

“My object lesson for today is we have to put on other people’s lenses. I was able to put a parent’s lenses yesterday and I was able to put on a student’s lenses this week,” he said in the video. “(Putting his glasses on) I am very aware of the frustrations parents are going through. I know my frustrations. Oh my gosh it’s so frustrating right now, I want to cry right in the middle of my lesson. I just can’t imagine what teachers are going through that are doing this all day long because my hour teaching is so stressed out.”

He added, “I want to remind the kids out there to put on the lenses of your parents. Put on the lenses of your administrator. Do you know how stressful this is? Some administrators put on this air … but they are going through as much stress as you are going through. … We are all going through the same impossible thing. I put these lenses by my computer to remind myself these parents, kids and teachers are going through unimaginable stresses. We have to understand what all of us are going through. We are all going through the same thing.”

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.