Hi there, my name is John Counts,
I’ve been a SAHD for 3 years. I went back to work part-time briefly before COVID but it was just the couple days a week my wife had off. My son is 3 and we are expecting our second in October. I plan to still be a SAHD with the second as well. We live on the central coast of California in a town called Los Osos. In the past 5 years, we’ve lived here, the US Virgin Islands (through Hurricane Maria!), Florida, and now we’ve been back in California since July 2020.
I’m an ocean lover. I love everything about the ocean. My favorite place to be is in, on, or around the ocean. We had been going to the beach regularly then one night we were sitting on the couch and my son Sebastian (we call him Bash) was watching some videos on his phone before we got ready for bed. Out of nowhere he turned to me and said “Daddy, can we go clean up the beach tomorrow?” My first reaction was surprise, then pride. Bash has always been a very kind and empathetic little kid but I don’t know where he got the idea for cleaning up the beach. Excited, I responded, “Of course we can buddy!”
The next morning we went to the store and picked up a trash grabber, and headed off to one of the many beaches around here. We spent the first 30 minutes looking for trash, but this particular beach was fairly clean. We only found a few pieces. I let him know that any trash we pick up is good; every little bit helps.
Even though we didn’t get a bunch of trash that first day, Bash was still interested in cleaning up the beaches. We made a rule that when we go to the beach we have to pick up at least 10 pieces of trash. It’s like the price of admission for the beach. I chose a beach that I knew needed more clean up, and he immediately started looking for his 10 pieces of trash. He didn’t quit at 10, either. We took breaks to play or throw rocks in the water, but before we left we had a trash bag half full of trash.
Since I love the ocean so much, Bash asking to clean up the beach touched my heart in a way I have never felt before. I have been proud of him for other things, of course. The parenting milestones. But this was a completely different Proud Dad feeling.
I plan to build off of this, and I’m thinking maybe we’ll start a more organized group beach clean up once we can gather again. I want to name it after the kid that started this whole thing, and call it Bash’s Beach Clean-Up. I’ve floated the idea on the Nextdoor app and lots of people are on board. Some of the locals even said he should be nominated for the Citizen of the Year for our area, and I should be nominated for Dad of the Year. That’s all great but to be honest just the idea that my son willingly suggested this on his own, and is excited to do it every time we go to the beach is more than I could ever ask for. Proud is an understatement. It’s my first big ‘Dad win’ and hopefully there will be many more to come.