The Adventures Of Fatherhood – July 7, 2023

A sense of humor is a must for raising kids. Laughing through some of the trials and tribulations helps the journey. Some examples to illustrate the point:

  • Beckett, 15, and a buddy went to play soccer recently. It was in the mid-90s and I thought they were crazy. I watched as Beckett and his friend left on their bikes without the bag of balls I set out for them.

An hour later, he comes back sweaty but as much as I would have thought. I asked him how soccer was, and he acknowledged it was too hot at the park. I mentioned something about how it’s tough in heat like this in the middle of the day and threw in the no ball part. He said, “truth,” and went upstairs. I resisted the urge to dive deeper and instead tried to show him some trust.

Days later, I learn there were girls involved. It all made sense then.

  • We can’t find Carson’s Fitbit. Since he is such a creature of habit, we worried returning to Summer Academy Monday was going to be difficult for him without it. Pam has been on a mission to locate it without any luck. I think it’s probably wherever my lost single Airpod is hiding.

Whenever school is involved, we follow a clear schedule at home. He gets up about 45 minutes before we need to leave. He has his breakfast and watches an episode of his new favorite show, The Simpsons. Probably not the best parenting there, but I admit it’s become a guilty pleasure of mine over the last few months.

When it’s time to walk out the door, the shoes go on in a certain order and he flips the television to a sports talk radio show for Pam. Now Pam doesn’t abhor sports or anything, but he knows a group of men sitting around opining on games from the night before is literally the last thing his mom would ever to choose to watch. This is Carson’s humor — he always leaves the television on this and hides the remote before leaving.

Before walking out the door typically, the last thing we do is put on his FitBit because I wear it during my own morning exercise. He likes to see all the steps, whether he took them or not.

Since we can’t find his FitBit, Carson has been wearing Beckett’s the last few days. All was good until Wednesday morning when he realized it was not his watch. How could he tell? The date was four months off and the time was far wrong. Clearly, Beckett has not been wearing it. He seemed to fixate on it, and I worried I was going to have to go back and sync the watch with his brother’s laptop to fix it.

Much to my delight, Carson giggled and made light of the situation. I asked if he wanted me to take it for the day and make it right. In his nonverbal way, he made it known it was no big deal. As we were walking into school, he even showed the time on his watch to another parent neither of us knew. Being a special needs parent herself, she stopped and looked and dryly said, “Oh you are really late.”

We laughed and laughed. That was a good win. Now, we really do need to find his watch, though. He will not forget.

  • As I was looking through dozens of photographs this week of fireworks, it’s amazing to me how many people are trying to take pictures and videos of the displays with their cell phones.

A few days before the holiday, I laughed when I read a friend put on Facebook, “Just a friendly 4th of July reminder that absolutely no is going to watch the video of fireworks you recorded on your phone.”

In Berlin, the fireworks took place on July 3. We were in the same vicinity as Beckett as he was watching the fireworks with a friend from a second-floor porch at our house. I could see from a distance he had his phone out, wondering if he was trying to take some pictures. I have given him a few opportunities of late to take photos of events and the photography bug seems to be hitting him a bit.

After the house had cleared out, I forgot to ask him that night how his pictures turned out. A few days went by, and I asked to see the pictures. It turns out he wasn’t taking pictures. They were just on their phones doing whatever teens do on their phones while the fireworks display was taking place.

I again exercised some restraint and just moved on.

  • A friend walked into a jewelry store recently with her 15-year-old to buy him a nice watch. She later learned after spending a few hundred bucks on the watch her son cannot read an analog watch.

Oddly enough, I had a similar conversation with a teacher a year or so ago who remarked how she has a digital clock in her room along with the standard clock with hands. Her rationale was she had more important things to teach in her class if a kid by the ninth grade had not learned how to read a clock.

  • I came across a handwritten letter recently I wanted to show my own 15-year-old son. He opened it and said I can’t read that, as if it was in a foreign language. The conversation went something like this:

Me: What do you mean?

Beckett: I just can’t.

Me: Not following here, it’s English.

Beckett: But it’s cursive, I forget the letters.

Me: Oh.

Beckett: Yeah I have not read cursive in years, only read typed things now and printed things.

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.