The Adventures Of Fatherhood – July 16, 2021

It’s amazing to me what excites my kids and what doesn’t.

I was thinking about this on the beach last weekend. We drove to Assateague, passing horses at every turn and some of the best vistas found anywhere. At one point, I had to insist Carson pull his head out of his book and Beckett put down his phone. As luck would have it, by the time they complied, the only thing they had to look at was the back of a line of vehicles. I refrained from ranting and instead came to accept my kids have seen all this dozens of times and it just doesn’t impress them anymore.

Realizing this was just a result of their upbringing, I was dismayed when I came upon the boys laughing and raving outside the truck after we parked. There were my kids, now 13 and 11 years old, marveling for several minutes over the size of a pile of horse manure. After taking pictures of it, Beckett spent several minutes trying to push his little brother into it. I may have ranted a bit after a few minutes of those shenanigans and especially after I saw Beckett posted a Snapchat story about the horse poop. No, he couldn’t even be bothered to take a picture of a group of horses drinking from the bay with two egrets nearby. He opted instead for the horse droppings.

Some other examples to share:

•I spend an hour cooking dozens of burgers, hot dogs and chicken legs on the grill. Pam busts her tail slicing fruit and making other delicious dishes. We place it all out in front of Beckett, who seems bored by it all. A few minutes later, I see a notification he posted on Snapchat a new story.

When I check it out, I wrongly thought it might be a picture of this delicious spread. Instead, I find it’s a photo of what may or may not be two flies having relations on the edge of his plate near his food. This was followed by the typical “I’m full” from my teenager after eating half of a cheeseburger and a bite of watermelon. I learned why after spying in the trash can an empty milk shake from Island Creamery and a bag of Skittles.

•Adults racing bathtubs along Main Street is entertaining if you ask me. For my kids, it’s not exciting evidently.

Carson had no interest in whatsoever. A big fan of social distancing before it came a household term last year and anxious around crowds, he preferred to stay home rather than walk to the event.

On the other hand, Beckett loves people and crowds, but it has to be the right types, meaning young teens. He preferred to hang with friends a comfortable distance away from the races. When I asked later if he saw any races, he said no but he could hear them.

•I never thought about having a pool in my backyard as a kid. It never even occurred to me. Growing up in Salisbury, going to the Elks pool was a big day. Maybe that’s why I appreciate having one in my backyard so much now.

Similar to the situation on Assateague, I think my kids think everyone has a pool and they take it for granted. For his part, Carson is a big fan of the pool. He goes in every day for a dip, but it’s typically a quick one. He likes to swim but he bores after a while.

Beckett basically swims in the pool whenever there are friends and family over. He views it as a special occasion thing. He doesn’t have an answer when I ask why. “I don’t know,” is typically what I get. It’s an answer that has probably rankled every mom and dad in the history of parenthood.

•Of my two boys, Carson is more sophisticated when it comes to food. It’s mainly because he will try anything, no matter how it smells or looks. If we are eating it, such as seaweed salad the other day, he will try it. It’s incredibly rare for him to not like something, but I would rank peas as his most disliked food.

Being gluten- and dairy-free can be challenging, but thankfully Carson has a wide range of likes including any kind of fruit and every single type of seafood, especially shrimp salad. He’s become a bit spoiled by good food.

For example, one of his favorite foods are chicken wings. He likes them with a little kick, so he opted for honey siracha sauce while out to eat recently. Being the more cerebral parent, Pam immediately stepped into the ordering process and asked for the sauce to be on the side. Carson was disappointed until he tried it. Pam and I both did as well. We all had the same reaction – the back heat was startling. Carson agreed barbecue sauce might be better.

On the opposite extreme is Beckett, who has about five go-to meals. Though he is not an adventurous eater – his current favorite is BBQ chicken and pork sandwiches – he will eat almost all vegetables.

When we recently got a bunch of jumbo crabs, we invited the boys to join us. Both refrained and I knew why. Only Carson was bold enough to admit it. He brought us a bowl and ran off. He wanted us to pick the meat for him. He came back a while later for his share. He was not disappointed. With Beckett, he simply asked if we could make him a crab cake.

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.