The Running Commentary

A weekend with the Boy

This past weekend saw the Taberner boys pack up a tent, sleeping bag, food and a special note to each other and head out for a father and son’s weekend away. We were invited by one of our friends and the idea was to create a space for father and son(s) to connect with each other.


The agenda was light, with only two “defined” times of connecting, but with an overarching idea of making time to connect. We unpacked and set up our tent, a much simpler process now that my son is 13. The first of my many moments while on the camp happening right then, he is 13! How time has flown, just yesterday I was holding him in my arms.

We were joined by the other 5 father and son families and set about making the fire, the unofficial place of connection, in time to braai for dinner. Despite being the newbies to the camp, we connected really quickly and got down to some great chatting and laughing.

Make a kettie

Saturday morning saw us get into the first of the two connection times, our task was simple, make a kettie (catapult), except that the dad’s needed to help and not actually make it. Go on dad’s out there! I dare you try and watch something that is being made, without getting your hands involved! This was a near impossible thing for me to do and another learning point. My son chose his piece of wood, cut it and shaped it, allowed me to help with affixing the rubber band, but he made it! It was fun! He won the accuracy competition and came second on the distance – not that I am boasting!


Lunch and a group walk was next, beautiful scenery (did I mention we were on the banks of the Breede River) Then we had our next father and son exclusive time. This time it was a little more personal.  It was an opportunity to talk about growing up, our experiences as a young man, their challenges and questions now. A time to connect and share, once again another moment for me, to hear my son speak with confidence and wisdom!

Before going on camp we had been tasked with writing an affirmation to each other, including a prayer. I have elected not to publish this, as it was a really heartfelt piece written by my son and something I will cherish forever. Suffice it to say that I was deeply humbled by my son’s generosity. He completely lifted me up with every word.

We shared dinner and some amazing bonfire fun around the fire pit with the rest of crew. As we closed on Sunday morning I was struck by the way we connected, about the honesty in the conversation and by the growth in my son. He is growing into an amazing young man. I am immensely proud of him.

Another learning moment for me, my family is a safe place for me; my wife is an amazingly generous, warm hearted, fun loving person. Our daughter too is developing into a strong young woman, who works hard, enjoys life, connects with her friends and gives amazing hugs!

I am blessed!

blessedcampingfather and sonMike Tabernerweekend

Mike • April 25, 2018

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