FatherSon Ventures

Building a Relationship through Adventure

Scout Sunday

Written By: Scot Butwell - Feb• 12•16

scout dayD was among the thousands of Cub scouts who participated in Scout Sunday by volunteering at Houses of Worship.

The focus of Scout Sunday is to encourage the growth of one of the character traits in the Scout Law: Reverence.

D’s pack served as greeters at Rolling Hills Covenant Church, shaking hands with people as they entered the doors of the sanctuary.

I talked to him how serving other people is our “duty to God”–which is part of the Scout Oath–and is one way we can show our reverence to God.

I’m not sure how much connection he made between shaking hands and showing revered to God. But he enjoyed serving together with his pack.

The social component was also good for him, forcing him to interact with people, even if mostly just by shaking their hand.

scout sun 2At the end of the church service, his pack also held a benevolence bucket and picked up trash in the sanctuary.

It was D’s first time volunteering and he rose to the challenge of greeting people with a mostly confident demeanor.

He was a little timid at first–reluctant to stick his hand out–and it helped he was paired with an older scout.

He needed a little prompting by me to stick he hand out and made eye contact with the person he was greeting.

But he was fine after he shook his first couple of hands–though he probably won’t have a career as a politician.

Greeting people proved to be the right level of challenge, not too difficult by pulling him out of his comfort zone.

We also sat in the sanctuary for one worship song, part of my Treasure Hunt between his volunteering at the beginning and end of the service.

That was nice, though I forgot to talk about how worship is another way we can show reverence to God.

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Gone Fishin’

Written By: Scot Butwell - Oct• 18•15

fishing

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Men Essentials

Written By: Scot Butwell - Sep• 14•15

shave

A quick plug:

A couple weeks ago, I got an email asking if I was interested in reviewing men’s products on my blog, and a few days later, sample products arrived at my front door.

I felt like I was getting the VIP treatment or, more likely, I’m still a newbie when it comes to online shopping–although I read the books the Wife buys on Amazon faster than she does.

Considering that I’ve used soap as shaving cream for years, I figured this was chance to step up my personal grooming in exchange for giving my honest opinion.

shaave

The picture at the top of the post is the result of my last shave—notice the gash on the right side of my chin–prior to using MenEssential LEA classic shaving cream.

Needless to say, LEA Classic shaving cream has provided a cleaner, cut-free shave with the added bonus on a tingly sensation and minty smell.

shaving cream

It is much better than my liquid soap shaves and I actually now look forward to shaving in the morning.

I also have been using Elvado after shave balm which has a soothing lotion texture and minty smell.

The last time I used after shave was as a teenager, and it wasn’t a good experience on my sensitive skin.

So I will soon be reordering with MenEssential and look forward to receiving their product at my door step.

Check out their wide range of men’s grooming products on their website and don’t leave your house to shop.

 

 

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Parents vs. Kids

Written By: Scot Butwell - Aug• 13•15

The most fun game of soccer I’ve ever played in my life came after I gave a suggestion to one of D’s teachers in his soccer class.

My suggestion was to let the parents play against the kids as a way to prevent them from clumping together in one big mass on the field.

The parents could spread the kids out by passing the ball to each other. That was the denotative idea I shared with D’s teacher.

Really, though, I was lobbying, for a parents vs. kids game. That’s how D’s teacher interpreted my comment, and she was right.

I’d advocated for a parents vs. kids game in the final week of his baseball class, and it was wonderful taking the field with the kids.

So D’s teacher suggested I form the parents into a team. Eleven parents took the field, including two moms who had never played soccer.

“Doesn’t matter,” I said. “Just kick the ball when it comes to you.”

Perfect. That’s how it felt to be on the field with D, the other kids and parents who, moments earlier, had been sitting mostly separately in lawn chairs.

I kicked the ball backwards to our goalie at one point. The ball rolled to a stop in front of her and she yelled, “What do I do with the ball?”

“Kick the ball,” I yelled.

“We need a parenting class,” one of D’s teachers said.

So it was the kids and the parents who were learning how to play soccer, which gave the parents vs. kids game a sweet innocence to it.

The kids’ effort level picked up playing against the parents, which I’d hoped would be another side benefit of a parents vs. kids game.

Their energy was evident when four kids and I chased a ball way beyond the goal. The refs were a little lax in calling out of bounds.

I modeled enthusiasm by running all over the field, so I told myself. But really I was having fun, and that’s what I hope I was showing D: sports is fun.

I celebrated scoring a goal by running with my arms in the air. The kids were ahead, 2-0, so I figured scoring a goal would keep the game honest.

The Wife will say I should not be at the center of D’s soccer class. However, I believe there are not enough activities for parents and kids to do together.

D ran up to me in the middle of the game and grabbed onto my t-shirt. I was upset for a moment that he wasn’t more focused on the game.

But then I was happy D and I were playing soccer together. D hugged my knees and I stopped running all over the field to enjoy this moment.

I hope all the parents felt the same joy that I did being on the field with the kids. Many times, I’ve take balls to the park and D showed no interest in them

So, besides having fun playing soccer, I didn’t take for granted this chance to share the field with D, the other kids, and their parents.

“Are we still going to be friends?” I heard a girl ask her mom after the kids won the game. It was a perfect ending to the game.

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Adventure Park

Written By: Scot Butwell - Aug• 13•15

mud slideThere was something missing about our trip to Adventure Park. We hammered nails, floated on a wooden raft, and went down a Mud Slide.

It wasn’t quite like Huck Finn going down the Mississippi River with a slave. The raft was in a muddy pond and the water was a foot or two deep.

D seemed more excited singing a minion song on the way home. There’s something about those little yellow guys.

raftI finally figured it out when I was tucking D into bed. I snuggled next to him and asked if he was afraid going down the Mud Slide.

There was a long line of kids going down the Mud Slide. D waited at the top of the slide, letting kids go before him.

I figure he was scared and didn’t push him to go down until he was ready.

He watched lots of kid slide down before deciding to give it a try.

He inched his way down on his butt without putting his legs out in from of him. I thought he was afraid of sliding fast down the tarp.

But it wasn’t the steep slide that was terrifying him. “I didn’t want to get my butt wet,” he told me.

This is what was missing…me understanding my son. D is an adrenaline junkie, but timed when it comes to water (swim lessons are in the near future).

D felt there was something else missing too. While we drove to Adventure Park, I’d mentioned kids could hammer nails and build a clubhouse.

And in his mind he’d conjured images of the Little Rascals–Spanky, Buckwheat, Alfalfa, et al–being at the clubhouse.

adventure park

“I was upset that the Little Rascals were not at the clubhouse,” he said. “I thought they would be there.”

So I told him a story in bed about Huckleberry Finn and Injun Joe. It was part tall tale and faithful to the original story.

I also resolved to sign him up for an acting class since movies can be more exciting than real life.

mud slide 2

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Busted!

Written By: Scot Butwell - Aug• 12•15

beach 1

This was the calm before the storm. After going to the beach, D and I went for lunch and an ice-cream came with his meal.

I know he is gluten-free and dairy-free, and I’d promised the Wife not to buy him Chocolate Lava Cake or an Ice Cream Sundae.

I knew the Wife would get upset if she found out, yet I let him have ice-cream. He devoured it, getting chocolate stains in his t-shirt.

We were busted.

beachy

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Haiku

Written By: Scot Butwell - Aug• 12•15

haiku 2

A white wall to jump off

Soft green grass to land on

Testing gravity’s limits.

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An Existential Question

Written By: Scot Butwell - Aug• 11•15

w parkD and I were taking a hike at Wilderness Park when he stunned me with a existential question,“Dad, when I am an adult, will you be in heaven?”

Now, when I was a kid, I don’t think I asked questions like these. Maybe, if I was lucky, one or two in all eighteen years of my childhood.

I was a simple kid. I just assumed my mom and dad would be around as adults. Heaven was like one of the planets in the solar system.

During the next few days, I considered how there were several ways (a few, actually) that I could have responded to his question.

I believe God knows the beginning and end of every person’s life, and He has an appointed time for every person’s birth and death.

Psalm 139 says:

All the days ordained for me

Were written in your book

Before one of them came to be.

When I told the Wife about D’s question, she thought I should have gone this route, that only God knows when a person goes to Heaven.

However, I think D was looking for something other than a theologically correct response. That wasn’t why he was asking the question.

So I answered, “yes, I will be here when you’re an adult” because I could sense he wanted assurance that I would be part of his adult life.

I want him to feel secure about the future, and as a seven-year-old, I don’t want him to be worrying about his future life as an adult.

D has been listening to the “Lava” song every day on You Tube. It’s a “short” at the beginning of Pixar’s latest film “Inside Out.”

The song is about a male volcano longing for a female volcano to love. Strangely, I think the “short” inspired his question on my mortality.

The chorus, with the exception of the last line and minus the male-female love story, captured the essence of D’s question:

I have a dream

I hope it will come true

You are here with me.

 And I am here with you.

 I wish that earth, sea, and sky up above

Will send me someone to lava.

And even more so the bridge:

I have a dream I hope it would come true

That you will grow old with me, and I grow old with you.

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Gluten-free Cookies

Written By: Scot Butwell - Aug• 11•15

This is one of those activities D and I hurried to complete before his mom came home.

 It’s not that she would have objected to D and me making Chocolate Chip Cookies (as long as they were gluten-free).

 Rather, she would have asked a zillion questions.

 “Do you know what your doing?”

 “Do you have all the ingredients?”

 “What bowl are you going to use?”

 And made a zillion comments.

So we did it my way. Forget about the vanilla extract, cracking the egg and pouring in the ingredients, this was the same as his mother’s way.

The fun came with the dough. I began mixing it with a spoon, but the dough was extremely dry, so I switched to using my hands.

D saw me eating the dough and stuck his hand in the bowl. “Hey, that’s too much,” I said, when he pulled out a big ball of dough.

But it was too late. He was already licking the dough from his fingers, and I could tell he was getting ready to stick his hand back in the dough.

I didn’t go into an explanation on how eating raw cookie dough is dangerous because the raw eggs could be contaminated with salmonella.

I settled on each of us eating one more teaspoon-sized scoop so we would have enough dough to make cookies. That was logical enough for him.

My only regret is that I cleaned the refrigerator rather than sit and eat cookies with my son. The fridge was a mess, but it could have waited.

I feel like I abandoned D in a cleaning frenzy. Maybe it didn’t matter to him, but it mattered to me.

Surprisingly, the Wife didn’t make any comments when she returned (it was mom’s night out). She didn’t object and asked only a few questions.

The only thing she really wanted to know was, “Did the box say gluten-free?” I thought she might check the box in the trash can.

But, as far as I know, she didn’t. Tomorrow, it’s gluten-free brownies.

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Knott’s Berry Farm

Written By: Scot Butwell - Aug• 11•15

knotts 1

You have to see an amusement park through a kid’s eyes.

You just have to.

It’s the only way to do it.

No adding up the cost of the day.

No thinking about $4.99 for a small bag of chocolate golden coins.

Yummies, he called them.

$14.99 for cheeseburger, fries, and coke.

No calculating the number of rides you’ve been on in the first hour.

This was my desire–to see Knott’s Berry Farm through a kid’s eyes–but I mostly failed miserably, despite a few brief moments when I managed to succeed.

“Hey, this is like the tunnel in Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland,” I whispered to D as we careened through a dark mining tunnel on the Calico Mine Ride.

“Where are the fireflies?” he asked.

His eyes grew big seeing the mummy miners, digging their pickaxes in the ground. They showed fear at the spooky music. And mine did too.

From reflecting his eyes.

Knotts b 2

But rather than seeing Knott’s through a kid’s eyes, I mostly felt preoccupied with monitoring D’s behavior. I know, the Wife will say, I am a parent.

The Wife’s objective was for D to stay calm. If we were to have harmony, I knew this had to my goal too–I was just less enthusiastic about it.

I wanted D to be able to feel excited too (and to have a tangible way of expressing his emotions with his body, like a short sprint to the next ride).

The Wife asked me three times at lunch, “What are we going to do if D has a meltdown? WHAT…ARE.. WE…GOING…TO … DO?”

She sounded like the panicky character from Sesame Street named Telly, which made it difficult for me to take her concern very seriously.

Nevertheless, our first trip to Knott’s was a success. The Wife will say I got huffy (a few times) when she told me to do something (and she’s right).

I enforced the staying-within-an arm’s-distance rule (less than the Wife), and D was calm and compliant during our entire visit to Knott’s.

I only got huffy from the reminders by the Wife to monitor D’s behavior. I wanted to not think about his behavior all the time, but to have fun with him.

D and I were on the Ferris Wheel, and while new passengers were being loaded in, our cart was temporarily suspended in the top position.

We were screaming–pretending to be freaked out–and this was another moment I felt close to achieving my desire, to see Knott’s through a kid’s eyes.

Then my phone beeped.

It was a text from the Wife, “His feet should not be dangling over the side. Can you please make sure that D’s feet remain in the cart …”

Ok.

But I know the day wasn’t about me. It was about us. The Wife and I being united and enjoying the day together with our son.

I know our trip was a success on these criteria. We even discussed getting season passes to Knott’s on the ride home while D munched on his yummies.

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