Thursday, April 19, 2007

Father and son stuff – teach him properly

Read part 1 here.

A couple of hours after he arrived here, I took my son for his first stroll around Amsterdam. He was overwhelmed. A rush of new sights and sounds engulfed him. The sensory overload was obvious - his eyes shone like those of a kid in the proverbial candy store It’s not his first trip overseas but it is the first time he’s had an adult’s freedom in a European city. Not just any European city, either. This was Amsterdam! He’d seen several coffee shops when we’d taken the tram to my flat from Central Station but we didn’t see one for at least 5 minutes once we started our stroll.

‘Where’re the coffee shops?’ he asked.

I pointed out the first one we passed. ‘Let’s go in,’ he said.

‘No, not yet, there’re lots of them around. Later.’

At that stage, I was still pondering the quandary of whether having a joint with him was cool or not. He was definitely going to have one at some stage, probably sooner rather than later. Perhaps I’d go in with him and have a drink while he had his first legal puff? Or we’d just go in, have a look then walk out again?

As we got closer and closer to Walletjes (the red light district), we saw more and more of them. If anything, delaying the moment when we finally entered one, was definitely uncool. I saw one that also served alcohol. In we went.
Read more..

13 Comments:

Blogger Theresa said...

You should tell him soon, before he finds your blog on his own, or hears it from someone else. Kids these days are pretty well informed about these things and don't get shocked as easily as they used to. I don't know your son, so I don't how he'll react, but with a cool dad like you, who even teaches his kid to roll a joint, I'm sure things will turn out all right in the end.

1:27 pm  
Blogger Minge said...

I'm not sure if the experience was cool or not, being not a Father myself and having no contact with my own. But I'd certainly say you're cool. And you're son will know this too. Being gay won't make you uncool, in his eyes, I am sure, if anything, cooler than cool. Listen to Hey Ya by Outkast and you'll know what I mean.

I wish you were my Dad.

1:33 pm  
Anonymous frog with a blog said...

I feel these father and son episodes are going to be interesting. Looking forward to the "Coming out" post and the "First breakfast with Dad, lover and son" one ;-)

You are way cool daddy!

2:33 pm  
Blogger ~Babsbitchin~ said...

I don't know, I always felt, if my boys were going to do something, I wanted to be there, be in on the action. My sons and I are very close and they tell me everything. We have a relationship, that some may find strange because of the honesty. But the good that came out of that honesty, was they saw what you should and shouldn't do. Smoking a joint is one thing, shooting heroin is another, of course. They saw it up close and personal and the suspense was gone and they realized it was just a nasty drug, that you may learn to love more than life itself.
Well Sweetheart, I hope you are well. I'd give anything to be there in Amsterdam but it's doubtful that I'd ever want to leave. I'm quite jealous darling.
Kisses!

7:02 pm  
Blogger Esther said...

I chuckled about the bit where he sounds so knowledgeable about the different types of weed, yet seem so clueless about anything else. He also sounds like a pretty normal teenager. Those photos are probably going to be trophies he'll always keep, or at least think about fondly.

12:09 am  
Blogger Ariel said...

Ho hum, you may be witholding vital info from the boyo.

1:40 am  
Blogger Schokolade Madchen said...

Great post! I wish I could have been as open and comfortable with my father, as your son is with you. When he is a man, he will remember these experiences and trust me, he will be so thankful for you.

8:43 am  
Blogger Amy said...

:-)

I think that you handled it perfectly. Plus, you allowed him to feel like he had the upper hand (by being obviously more stoned than he was). I think that is important to teenagers, it makes them feel more in control.

Also, if there is a chance that he will get paranoid on the weed maybe you should pic a time when he isn't likely to toke up before sharing such big news with him (I know this sounds really obvious but I have been in situations where I have processed info whlst stoned and it can get pretty hairy - you know that bit does he?)

This is a truly lovely story about how close dads and sons can be, I'm sure he will look back on this one day and be proud of how the events unfolded!

Amy

8:49 am  
Anonymous chitty said...

I think it went well... given your initial reservations. You treated him like an adult and that is what counts. You are a cool dad in my book.

9:50 am  
Blogger angel said...

haaaaaaang on- he doesn't know you're gay? why did i think he knew?
so did you have fun? honestly- it sounds more than a little scary...

ooh- nearly forgot- thanks for clearing up "wigger", i didn't know there was a "name" for what ali g is! i'd never heard the term! so is it an insult? i didn't read the whole wiki thing.

1:45 pm  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

Theresa: You’re right of course. My procrastinating, if that’s what it can be called, is silly.

Minge: Your Dad? Me? Madness!! I’m FAR too young to be ANYONE’S Dad! :-)

frog with a blog: I’ll have rename this blog to something more appropriate. I may have to run a competition for appropriate names.

Babsbitchin:You have a good point about wanting to be there when your kids are do things, especially things that are illegal and/or dangerous. Being there for everything is probably not a good idea but knowing about everything is ideal.

On the whole, ‘honesty is the best policy’ when it comes to relationships although I do know of occasions when total honesty is destructive. Nothing I’ve written about as regards myself and my kids, however, has warranted dishonesty.

Esther: He’s put some of them on his MySpace profile. Yes, he is very typical of today’s teenagers.

Ariel: Absolutely, couldn’t agree more.

Schokolade Madchen: I didn’t know my father long enough (he died when I was 12) to go through the rites of passage one has while growing up. I suspect, however, we’d not have been as open together as I have been with my kids. Barring, of course, one vital thing. That will change.

Amy: You’re right about not talking about major things while stoned in case of anxiety/paranoia. Over the past few weeks, I’ve told him quite a few of my ‘dope stories’, the funny and the scary. I’m making sure that he understands the good and the bad of playing around with things that bend your mind.

chitty: Thanks, that’s another vote of confidence in my parenting abilities.

Funnily enough, although I brought ‘coolness’ into my previous post, I don’t’ particularly want to be cool, I just want to be someone whose kids like as a person while turning to me for advice and guidance when they need it.

angel: No, not yet. And yes, it was fun. I’ve got stoned with him once since that occasion and it felt very natural. He’s got stoned several more times than that but always with some of the friends he’s made here in Amsterdam.

I think ‘wigger’ can be used as an insult but not necessarily so. The way it was directed at him was insulting but he shrugged it off with some sort of disparaging remark about wealthy kids who attend elitist private schools.

7:50 am  
Blogger Jeff said...

Very funny story - father & son time - why didn't I have that kind of father & son time, damnit!

6:19 pm  
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1:00 am  

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