Since Lily started working at her current job and Justin left the house, Nicholas and I have had plenty of time being home together just the two of us.
We watch ABC "world news tonight" together if I get home in time.
We have dinner together every weekday. We watch Wheel of Fortune on CBS together and play along - he is pretty good at it.
We watch "The Voice" - singing competition show on NBC together from time to time - and exchange our thoughts on a singer's performance or how a coach might react.
We listen to "Intelligence Square" debate on Sundays, and comment on both the substance and the style.
We play tennis together every Saturday.
We learn classical physics, do physics experiment regularly.
More recently I asked him to have more physical activities during weekday afternoon. He went along. When we go biking along the big loop around Russell Creek Park, he would stop to wait for me from time to time if I lag behind too far.
With time, our communication changed from only about school work and the amount of time he spends on playing computer game, to many things more - world news, local event, "what do you think about ...", my opinion on political hot topics, his thoughts ....
Last fall, we had not had camping trip for long time, I asked Nicholas if he was willing to go camping just with me since his mom had to work on weekends. To Lily's surprise, he said yes!
Since I was so impressed with his performance at play along on "wheel of fortune", I suggested that he should consider applying for playing the real thing. Lily asked him whom he would choose to be his partner - to our surprise, he chose me even though I'm not so clever with words!
Despite the fact that mom is closest to him and we have discipline confrontations occasionally, I sense that he and I are getting closer.
Last Thursday afternoon, as I was starting my car ready to go home, I got a phone call from Nicholas.
"Hi Dad, it is Nicholas. Where are you now?"
"I am at Parking lot at work, about to leave for home. What's up?"
"I am watching TV, it is reporting that there is tornado warning in Denton. I just want to know where you are"
" I am miles away from Denton. No tornado warning here. Don't worry. See you soon"
"OK, see you and be careful!"
It was first time ever Nicholas called just to check on my well being. It was heart warming!
Father and Son bonding takes time. There are many ways to strengthen father and son relation. The key is that a father has to really involve in his son's activities, and cares about him.