Date Night …. with my Son

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I decided to spend some time with my son, Fred, tonight while the girls are still with their Dad.  For a change he wasn’t secluded to his room and playing a video game.

For some reason, Fred has recently started trying to teach me about the video game he’s been playing.  I think it started because I went to his room to talk to him one evening and instead of just waiting in the doorway, I went in far enough to watch the screen.  Just so you know, anything beyond Atari 2600 is a bit overwhelming for me.  I can manage board games and simple 1-player puzzle games on my phone, and that’s about it.  I’ve tried some games on other game systems, and the number of buttons confuse me… I’m NOT a gamer.

Anyhow, Fred plays Destiny on Xbox 1.  This weekend, he has spent a fair amount of time telling me the lore of Destiny and trying to help me understand what he is doing in the game.  The poor kid rolls his eyes when I remind him to put it into very simple English.  He’s gotten creative in trying to break this very complex game down into infantile language.  I think he is having some success; the game is starting to make at least a little sense to me now.  It’s even a bit interesting.  I would probably enjoy reading some of the stories that go along with the game, if I had the patience to try to read it.

Tonight I asked him what he wanted for dinner, since it was just the two of us.  Last night we fended for ourselves.  I spent most of the day vacillating between cooking, fending for ourselves again, or going out for dinner.  He was interested in going out, so we went to a local Mexican restaurant.

The restaurant had a live musician tonight, which was a nice treat.  The guy was pretty good, and Fred and I enjoyed the music.  We splurged and split a dessert – sopapilla with fried ice cream.  It was delicious!

It was nice getting to spend time with my boy.  It’s not something I get to do very often, especially not just the two of us.  I’m trying to engage in his world a little bit more.  I’m trying to understand his fascination with Destiny.  Maybe if I can understand a bit of that, then we can work of some other issues.

Fred had to leave college back in the Spring.  He is planning on going back in January, but he has a lot to learn before he is ready to resume college life again.  He struggles with time management, focusing his attention on “important” tasks, and emotional stability.  Sadly, he is a lot like me emotionally.  Neither of us like to discuss emotions or things that affect us.  He is good at bottling everything up.  I’m learning to not do that, but he still has a long way to go.  I’m grateful that he’s trying to balance his emotional health now rather than when he’s my age.  I hope he will start letting me help him learn what works best for him.

I did talk to Fred about a project I want to undertake.  I think the project is beyond my ability, and I have a friend that is willing to help me if needed.  Fred thinks he can build it fairly easily this coming weekend.  I guess I need to go to the lumber yard and start pricing supplies.  He’s going to build me a movable pantry that will slide between the deep freezer and the wall.  It will increase some of the storage space in my kitchen, which is extremely limited.  I like the idea that it nestles into a limited use space without me trying to add more cabinets.

I would never have had the opportunity to talk to Fred about the project, learn more about his game, or just spend time with him had we not had this impromptu date night.  Spending time with my kids is always worth the energy and money I spend.

~ Maybe, when I grow up


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