FatherSon Ventures

Building a Relationship through Adventure

The Two Worst Sons

Written By: Scot Butwell - Aug• 11•17

A couple days ago, I took my mom to her ear doctor appointment, and after the hearing test and her examination was over, the septuagenarian doctor told us a story about his two nephews.

It went something like this:

His sister married and had two sons. She got divorced and remarried. The oldest son liked jumping off the roof onto a mattress. He was into World Wrestling Entertaining moves.

He was 12, I think, at the time.

“His mom didn’t know what to do with him,” the doctor said. “What do you do with a kid who jumps off the roof?”

The younger brother was rude to his step dad, calling his toupee a rug, but when he got laid off from his accounting job, the toupee made him look younger and land another job.

“Ageism is still alive,” said the doctor. “It is very much alive.”

The brothers went to college and graduated. The older brother now travels the world as a WWE wrestler; he also dabbles in stand-up comedy and does voice over work on the side.

The younger brother loved to draw, and he worked his way up the ladder in the entertainment industry from entry level positions to become an animation director for Family Guy.

“That’s a big deal,” the doctor said.  “It’s a very big deal. A very big deal.”

“My brother-in-law used to pick at the younger son all the time, and even now that he has become a director for Family Guy, he watches his son’s show and calls to tell me, “I don’t get it.”

“I don’t get it half the time,” the doctor confided. “But it’s a very big deal to be a director for the Family Guy show.

I have no idea why the doctor told us this story, of an accountant step dad who never “got”his creative sons, but I’m glad he shared the story. My mom is 83, and my brother and I are grown up, so it likely wasn’t meant for her.

D is nine, and I plan to support him in whatever vocational path he chooses as he gets older. He fills notebooks with drawings of animation characters, so, maybe, he will become an artist.

I think his love for drawing may be a sign, just like the older brother’s jumping off the roof or the younger brother’s love for drawing and rude behavior foreshadowed their careers.

My two take always from the story: 1) the step dad never learned to embrace his sons for who there are, and 2) the sons’ vocations were wired into their DNA, just as the step dad’s was too.

I told the doctor’s story to L, hoping it will help her to understand our son, that he is a boy and sometimes boys will act rowdy and leave their clothes strewn all over their bedroom floor.

Sometimes, they will act sassy and be ornery to their mothers, but then sweet and loving the next moment. They can be rash and unpredictable, and a houghtful and weighty thinkers.

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