An Unofficial Revival of Boys Club

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Wyatt wasn’t having the best of days yesterday. A combo of East Texas allergies and a knee injury at homeschool co-op had him snuffling/limping about. Tab ended up going to church alone to teach the kids (normally I tag along and help her). This Wednesday night though, I got to stay home with Wyatt and have a bit of an unofficial Boys Club revival. Two guys. All alone. What are we to do?

First, we kind of geeked out over a Star Wars trailer breakdown:

Second, we watched the Untitled Goose Game Gameplay Trailer. Wyatt just laughed. “We need this, dad.” I love listening to him laugh his deep belly laugh.

And then third, we played some Fortnite. I am still not a huge fan of the game. But recent changes have made the Chapter 2 update revolutionary for me (which means I’ll actually play with Wyatt now). The shooting, which always felt off/not good, feels dialed in now. I can shoot with the best of them and actually rack up a kill streak. Wyatt and I have consistently placed in the top ten playing duos. We even achieved our first Victory Royale over the weekend. Oh yeah!

Victory Royale!

Playing with Wyatt last night, I realized that we haven’t had a lot of one-on-one time lately. As we played Fornite, he talked. I learned about the video games kids at church are playing:

“Dad, so-and-so and so-and-so play Halo, but they aren’t allowed to play Fornite, isn’t Halo more violent?”

I smiled.

There is something about getting to hang out with him, one-on-one, that is super special. Tabitha is probably smiling as she reads this. At one point in my life, when she would leave, I’d put Wyatt to bed as quick as I could so that I could have some “me” time. God and the passage of time have worked to change me.

Was reading an article the other day that got me thinking about setting aside time to just spend with Wyatt. I liked this point:

Taking them out for breakfast. One much-loved tradition in our family is taking my children out for breakfast on Saturday mornings—one of them each week. It’s a tradition I have lost and revived and lost again and revived again. It is a tradition worth maintaining. The $10 or $20 expense and the time it takes pales in comparison to the investment in their lives. I will never regret our breakfast daddy dates.

Daddy dates. Going to think more on this one.

How do you make time to connect with your kids?

How did your parents make time to connect with you as a kid?

Let me know in the comments below.

Feast & Fish – Boys Club Goes Fishing

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Wyatt and I went fishing for the first time this past weekend. The boy caught his first fish, a sweet bass, within moments of casting out. Might as well have put the rest of our time on repeat. The fish were hungry!

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My brother-in-law, Mike, tagged along. I’m thankful for his expertise and knowledge in an area where I am out of my depth. Mike did a great job not making fun of me or my “I’m not touching that fish” responses.

Would like to thank my church for hosting the Feast & Fish event. The fried food was good and the private lake fishing even better. I learned that piercing a worm, with a fish hook, multiple times, isn’t that big of a deal. Maybe next time I’ll actually handle a fish. Maybe.

Something happened on the way to school

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Today Wyatt had a math test. We were running late. Test anxiety, tiredness, and general panic filled the car as we drove to school. It is on mornings like this that I am happy we have a short five minute drive. But still, there is traffic. Other parents rushing their children about. A regular suburban war zone of cars, humanity.

As we got closer to school, Wyatt asked if he could pray. I told him sure. He prayed for the usual things, family safety being key. I navigated us into the parent drop-off lane. Reminding him that there was nothing he could do about the test this morning. All he could do is do his best.

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Driving through the final drop-off area, my grown-up six year old melted before my eyes. He was crying. I reassured him that he was going to have a great day. The door opened, he gave me a hug and got out.

I don’t have these moments too often, moments where I want to swoop in and protect my kid. But this morning, this was a morning where I wanted to do just that. I wanted to protect him, reassure him, let him know that the world is an okay place. It is on mornings like this that I wonder if my wife and I should homeschool. Academically challenge him in ways public school is failing at. Another discussion for another time though.

My heart hurt this morning. It sucked. I had to trust that Wyatt would have a good day. Knowing that he is a super smart kid and would do just fine on his test. I had to let go… and I didn’t want to.

Being a dad can be hard. Understatement of the year.

We can do this.

Boys Club

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Wyatt and I were alone Saturday afternoon. Tabitha went to a pre-wedding event (her brother is getting married next month), so we made a special time of it. Welcome to Boys Club.

Boys Club: A time when father and son get to hang out together, away from momma; a time where all topics are on the table, including poo-poo. Butt face.

Ever since Wyatt began to talk, I have tried to schedule special times together. Time away from momma. A set time were we could talk all we wanted about potty humor. A safe place where I could build trust with my son. I want him to be able to talk to me about anything. I figure if we can joke around and talk about bodily functions, we can talk about the deeper things in life later on. But fart jokes never get old. Ever.

Our Saturday Boys Club consisted of:

  • Playing the Star Wars Battlefront beta together
  • Happy hour drinks at Sonic
  • Starting/beating the LEGO Jurassic Park demo. Best part of the game was controlling the raptors.
  • Running around the backyard with Nerf guns and swords.
  • Watching at least two hours of Transformers Prime. Optimus Prime was at his end…or was he?

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Best part of our day was in the backyard. Wyatt wanted to go outside and play Transformers. So we each picked a weapon. I grabbed a foam sword, he grabbed a Nerf gun. Somehow we never got around to playing. Wyatt was too concerned with making up rules, structure, to our play. I got bored. So I grabbed his gun and took off. There were tears over my dual wielding weapons.

“You can’t have two!”

(Right, I’m the parent. Take the higher path. Give the kid a weapon.)

What did giving him a weapon bring about? Me losing both arms and legs to a foam sword. It hurt. A lot. I told him I had had enough. Wyatt then created something to regrow my limbs. All forgiven. Until our play continued and I broke out my Nerf shotgun. Which then snapped in half as I cocked it. Hulk smash!

My son and I are a lot alike. We can drive each other crazy in a moment. Boys Club on Saturday was a success. Optimus Prime lived.

I want to encourage dads out there to set up special times with your kids. This time doesn’t have to be expensive or involve going anywhere. A drive in the car, a battle in the backyard, a conversation before bed. Build a solid foundation today with your kids. They’ll remember the time they spent with you. Good time with dad.

Game on.