FatherSon Ventures

Building a Relationship through Adventure

The Worst Two Sons

Written By: Scot Butwell - Aug• 11•17

I took my mom to her ear doctor appointment, a couple days ago, and the septuagenarian doctor told us a story about his nephews at the end of her appointment.

His sister had two sons. She got a divorce and remarried. As a twelve-year-old boy, the older brother liked jumping off the roof onto a mattress in the backyard to practice World Wrestling Entertaining (WWE) moves.

“His mom didn’t really know what to do with him,” he said.

The younger brother was occasionally rude to his father-in-law, calling his toupee a rug. The dad got a toupee to help make himself look younger when he got laid off from his accounting job.

“Ageism is still alive,” the doctor said.

The rude younger brother loved to draw. Both brothers went to college and graduated. The older brother now travels the world as a WWF wrestler under a pseudonym. He also does stand up comedy and voice over work.

The younger brother worked his way up to become an animation director for the Family Guy show. “That’s a big deal,” the doctor said, saying it again one word at a time and looking me in the eye.  “That’s 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 successful director for Family Guy, he watches his son’s show and tells me, “I don’t get it. I don’t get it all the time, either.”

I have no idea why the doctor told us this story, of an accountant dad who doesn’t get his creative son, but I’m glad he told the story. My mom is 83, and her sons are grown up. I am 48, and my son is nine. So, maybe, the story was meant for me.

I thought of D, and how I want to encourage him to follow whatever vocational path he chooses, and how I want to support him in his current passions like drawing angry birds.

He loves to draw angry birds, as well as characters from Veggie Tales and Five Nights at Freddies, and talks a lot about them, making up little stories about these animated characters.

“Who is your favorite Five Nights at Freddy character?” he likes to ask me. “Freddy or Nightmare Freddy.”

“I like Freddy because of his cool hat,” I say. “It reminds me of a hat I used to have.”

“You like Nightmare Freddy better, right?”

“No, I like regular Freddy because Nightmare Freddy is creepy.”

I think the angry birds or Freddy characters may foreshadow D’s future vocation like the older brother’s jumping off the roof or the younger brother’s rude behavior foreshadowed their future career paths.

I take away two points the story: 1) the father-in-law never learned how to embrace his sons for who there are, and 2) the sons vocations were wired into their DNA by their natural proclivities.

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


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