Danecdotes: Checking in on my greatest achievement

My son is on the verge of his 5th birthday

Photo illustration /

We are just over a week away from my son’s 5th birthday.

Good gravy.

I’m not sure I ever pictured myself as a parent, and now I can barely remember what my adult life was like before he showed up. I assume it was quieter — probably cleaner, too — but it certainly was less interesting.

The way he has grown and changed over these five years has been insane.

He has developed an attitude and has gotten sassy at times, but he still does and says some of the funniest things I’ve ever encountered.


He is never tired when bedtime rolls around, yet he usually falls asleep within 15 minutes of lying down. He is always starving (his words, not mine) mere minutes after saying, “I’m full,” and leaving the dinner table. He’ll demolish a plate of vegetables, but leave half a bowl of Cheez-Its on the coffee table for the cat to find.

He loves coloring and Super Mario Bros. He doesn’t do well when he loses in Candyland.

He is better friends with the neighbor’s cat than with his own cats. He loves our cats almost too much, but is so calm and kind with the neighbor’s cat to the point she comes scampering to him any time he is outside.

He is afraid of basically all bugs (thanks to a wasp sting a few years back) but will walk right up to a snake or hold a slug in his hand without flinching.

He tells me he wants to play every sport when he’s in school. I have told him many of the sports have overlapping seasons and playing them all would be tough from a scheduling perspective, but that doesn’t seem to faze him. Wish me luck when we have wrestling and hockey tournaments every weekend, I guess.

He can be the ultimate “sour patch kid” — getting grumpy the moment things don’t go his way, but still willing to snuggle up to his mom on a Saturday morning.

He does the “Skol” chant every time the Vikings win and tells everyone who needs to hear it that the Packers are “the worst.”

He constantly tells me and his grandpas that he can’t wait to go hunting, even though sitting still and being quiet aren’t really in his wheelhouse.


I am constantly enamored by the things he says. Examples include:

"Dad, how do mermaids get their feet out?"

"Dad, if I was a tree, I would be so bored."

He wants to become a scientist when he grows up. When he does, he says he is going to discover time travel.

He read a whole book the other night (with just a little bit of help) and was so proud of himself when he got the tough words right.

He can frustrate me to no end, yet sometimes it is so much fun just to sit on the couch and watch TV with him.

Five years ago, he was this sweet little sack of flour completely dependent on his mother and me. Now, he is his own person, with more to his personality than I ever would have expected.

He can be rough, sweet, rude, messy and silly, usually all in the same day.


He’s my little “dudemeister” and he is the best thing to ever happen to me.

Love you, Buddy. Keep being awesome.


Dan Determan, sports writer/staff writer, may be reached at 218-855-5879 or . Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at

Opinion by Dan Determan
Dan Determan has been a reporter for the Echo Journal since 2014, primarily covering sports at Pequot Lakes and Pine River-Backus
What To Read Next
Get Local


Must Reads