Over the last 2 1/2 years, I’ve written about my youngest son, the Goon, and his perspective on the world. His preferences and choices tend to challenge some gender roles. As his father, there have been moments that were heartbreaking along the way.
Our journey watching his unique choices began when, as a 3 year old, he picked out his own footwear for the first time. His choice? A pair of purple and silver Dora the Explorer sneakers. I wrote about the separate-but-similar reactions that The Queen and I had at the time. We wrestled with the opposing instincts to support him in expressing himself while still concerned for the social conflict we were sure he’d face. Society does not allow one to challenge its mores without consequence.
The vacation has officially begun. We made it from Syracuse to Buffalo, picked up my brother-in-law and family at the airport, and crossed into beautiful Canada. After about 4 hours of play in Great Wolf Lodge’s water park everyone is thoroughly exhausted.
My boys- all 3 of them- are rip roaring and ready to go. How is it that everytime I think, “This will really wear them out!” they end up tucking me into bed. Youth, despite the cliche, is not wasted on the young. It is my experience that they use every bit of it…
Assuming I survive the night, look for my next dispatch tomorrow. Good night, sleep tight. That’s for me. I’ll be asleep before 9!
My boys are really lucky. I’ve written before about how lucky they are that my father lives with us. Their lives are also richer because of their wonderful uncles and aunts.
Based on marital status, they’ve got 4 uncles (my three brothers and my wife’s brother) and one aunt (my brother Matt’s wife). But- if you use the criteria of people with substantial connections to those uncles you also add in my brother-in-law’s longtime girlfriend and the partners of my two other brothers. The expanded definition is more apt because I don’t think marital status defines family. All in, uncles and aunts, I count 8. And they are all wonderful people.
My middle boy, the Noodle, is in Kindergarten this year. It’s the beginning of May, which means it’s PARP time! PARP- Parents As Reading Partners- is designed to build a love of reading in children by engaging parents to spend 15 minutes a day reading to their children. Designed in New York State in the late 1970’s, the PARP program is an idea that I can really get behind. I think if we can teach children that reading can be fun we’ve given them a powerful tool to spur lifelong learning.
The Noodle and the Goon have just been tucked into bed but right before that we spent about 20 minutes reading tonight. The selection tonight was a series that is an old favorite in our house, going back to when my 13 year old was starting Kindergarten. We read our entire series of the “Black Lagoon” books. Have you heard of them? On the reading list tonight:
- The Teacher From the Black Lagoon
- The Principal From the Black Lagoon
- The Gym Teacher From the Black Lagoon
- The Librarian From the Black Lagoon
- The School Nurse From the Black Lagoon
- The Custodian From the Black Lagoon
- The Music Teacher From the Black Lagoon
- The School Bus Driver From the Black Lagoon