The Adventures Of Fatherhood – April 14, 2023

Though I enjoy all of Berlin’s special events, last week’s Spring Celebration made me a bit sad personally.

Easter is a special family weekend. For us, over the years as my kids have grown the only common denominators have been church and Easter baskets, the contents of which have changed considerably. My sons Beckett, 14, and Carson, 13, have essentially outgrown all the fun aspects of Easter.

Last Saturday I walked around the Berlin Spring Celebration. In years past this would involve getting the kids ready for breakfast with the Easter bunny followed by numerous egg hunts around the area and games. There might be a nap or two mixed in when they were young, but we always partook in Berlin’s event. I have memories of Beckett crying after tripping over a root in Stephen Decatur Park during an egg hunt and then a tantrum over the few eggs he retrieved. I remember one year Carson slipped out of the BabyBjorn because I leaned too far over to get an egg. He must have been okay because the mishap is all I recall.

Dozens of family photos over the years document their growth as well as the difficulties associated with getting good pictures. It took dozens of pictures to capture one keeper. One picture jumped out this week from 2012 as I noticed I had sweat through my suit before we even got to church. The morning chaos won that day. It was probably one of those years when we told the kids they could open their Easter baskets but could only have a few pieces of candy before church. We knew then what we know now – that was ridiculous and cruel.

The differences in our days currently compared to years ago are vast and bring on mixed emotions. Rather than a loud early morning of excitement of Easter baskets, rowdiness and candy before church, it was a quiet Easter this year.

It’s sad on one hand watching these changes take place, but kids grow up and become more independent. There is an understanding and clear recollection those younger days were exhausting, frustrating and mindboggling. We couldn’t stay in the toddler period forever and thankfully so. Two young kids only 19 months apart required a ton of time, energy and effort for many years. I clearly remember just going to the backyard by myself with the boys was a big deal and typically involved a lot of sweat and usually an injury or three.

While there are tremendous memories from those days when calls for “mommy” and “daddy” seemed incessant, I do not long for those days. They were wonderful and are now memories.

Nowadays, with more social changes taking place especially with our older son, a whole new host of concerns preoccupy our time and prevent spare moments to reflect on days gone by. What was simpler psychologically and mentally then was much more demanding physically.

It was fun this week to look back on previous columns documenting Easter.

Back in 2011, I wrote this:

If I were a kid today, Easter weekend would be one of the highlights of my year. It would be competing for top billing and most likely would fall just behind Christmas and birthdays because it truly is a day (really is more of an entire weekend) of fun.

Easter around my house is serious business, and my wife, Pam, gets most of the credit for making it such an enjoyable time for my sons, Beckett, 3, and Carson, 2. I really have little to do with it. She doesn’t ask for my help with the baskets because she knows I would be no good at it and would surely be more of a hindrance, so it’s something I enjoy watching develop and the finished products are usually stunning.

Consequently, on Easter morning, there I was holding down the fort with camera in tow as the kids came downstairs. After a few oohs and aahs, Beckett immediately realized there was candy inside some of the eggs in the basket. That was it for him, as he lost all sense of reality from that point on, shoveling candies in his mouth at a record clip before we had to place the basket above his maximum reach.

That set the tone for what was surely Beckett’s personal record for chocolate consumption in a day. We learned throughout Easter that chocolate appears to make Beckett hard of hearing, as he did little to no listening on this particular day. We know he heard us loud and clear but the listening part was simply not happening.

Although the candy was the highlight for sure, the Easter egg hunts are close behind.

Until Carson becomes more proficient at walking, the egg hunts are a one-kid show for us, although Carson did do some crawling and managed to grab a few eggs himself.

Beckett has not quite grasped the competitive nature of the Easter egg hunts, though. … There were moments during the Berlin Spring Celebration’s Easter egg hunt that I just shook my head in bewilderment at his approach. … most photos of him include him finding the egg, examining it, cracking it open and then standing still eating its contents before moving along to find something else to eat. …

One other unforeseen situation involved a meeting with the Easter bunny. Based off what happened with Santa Claus four months ago (Beckett had a total meltdown), we worried an encounter with the bunny might result in a similar situation. He was not as shaken and didn’t really seem to care.

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.