Growing up, I'm sure my father was puzzled by me. He loved sports and got a son who loved to read, draw, and daydream. I was sure that when I had a kid of my own that he or she would be just like me and we would love going to bookstores together (something that can take hours) and we would share all of my favorite books from childhood together. Benjamin turned out to be a left-brain child who is into math, science, and technology. He is also not a reader. Particularly of fiction. While I don't always understand what he's talking about, I love listening to him be passionate about what he's passionate about.
No, I have no clue about computer code but I am proud that teachers at his school are all wanting him to program robots and drones for different clubs. He loves technology and has even started his own blog, Avid Tech Nerd (http://avidtechnerd.blogspot.com/) to write about one of his favorite subjects. I am proud that every time I have gone to his school for some event, his teachers come up to me to talk about how smart Benjamin is. And, yes, I was thrilled when he was asked to join Beta Club this year.
More than his intelligence, what I love about Benjamin is his good heart. He is kind, compassionate, and has a sense of wanting to treat everyone equally. Ever since he was little, I have been trying to teach him that his choices determine his character and I like that he appears to be listening and, for the most part, makes good choices. It was amazing to me how great he was when he had to take a backseat for awhile when Cava first got here. He had to adjust from being the only child to now having a younger brother who needed a lot attention. But I have watched as he reached out lovingly to his new brother, even when Cava wasn't ready to accept it, to now seeing the two of them become close as brothers are. Some of my favorite moments are just watching Benjamin and Cava interact and play together. It's hard to beat those times when your kids get along with each other.
It meant a lot to me that he recently thanked me for the time I have invested in him and Cava. That he notices and appreciates it. He sees that he is a priority for me and I view him as such and not as a burden or a nuiscance.
And I do enjoy spending time with him, especially one-on-one time doing things that he enjoys or going places he likes to go. One of those things is just sitting down and watching his favorite YouTube show, Good Mythical Morning, with him. While I do enjoy Rhett and Link on the show, what I love most is hearing Benjamin laugh at what they're doing. It's hard to beat hearing your kids having a good time. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Good Mythical Morning go to YouTube and check it out as it's clean and a lot of fun.
It's important for me to know what he likes, who his friends are, and to be a part of his daily life. I want to be available and open to him when he needs to come to me to open up anything that he might be dealing with.
I like being able to joke around and have a good time with him.
I like watching him grow up and see who he is becoming, though, like any parent I see how aggressively time is passing and I just want to shout, "SLOW DOWN!" I know that in a couple of years Benjamin will go off to college, so I enjoy the time I have with him at home so that I don't have to look back and wish I had been there. I do not want a "Cats in the Cradle" relationship with my son and I work hard to be there for any event or awards ceremony that he's ever had. Benjamin knows I will always be there for him because I always have been. Being a father is about being present, in the big moments and the small ones. I love all of those moments because, good and bad, they have deepened and strengthened our relationship.
I like that when Benjamin does go off to college that I will miss him. It will be with sadness and not relief that he's gone because I do enjoy being with him. While he is not the son I imagined having, he is the son I am thankful for having because I would not change him or want him to be me because I love who he is and appreciate the uniqueness that God created in him.