Eyes Wide Open

Happy Birthday, Carson!

How can I describe you, my zany, exuberant, full of zest, Sonny Boy?  In looking through some pictures I’m struck with how big your eyes are, as if they can’t open wide enough to take it all in.  You came into this world ready to party: bring it on, Mama. 

You also came into your world eager to know it, to discover it, to dominate it.  Your powers of observation rival Grandpa’s; your curiosity about the way things worked nearly always got you into trouble. 

You wouldn’t remember the fateful trip to Yakima when you first discovered how to unlock the seatbelt that kept you in your booster seat. I’ll never forget it.  No warnings, no reproaches, no spankings, no blisterings could keep your itchy fingers from pushing that button once more to see what happened.  Your young mind comprehended the consequences, but you were completely willing to pay the price to press the button, hear the click and watch the seatbelt unbuckle.  Your Aunt Margo and I stuttered our way down the highway in two mile increments. Never have I pulled the car over on the shoulder more in one trip. Your tolerance of pain has always been high, but your love of delight has always been higher.  

I admire the risk taker in you.  You did well playing soccer as a goalie because you were willing to take risks and go after the ball.  When the opportunity came to work on a salmon boat you jumped in! You ride motorcycles, climb mountains, ride boards with names I can’t keep up with, and you navigate Seattle traffic like a New York cab driver. 

You have become an excellent older brother, both to Collin and your brothers by marriage.  You are a  sounding board, a willing listener; you take a genuine interest.  When the phone rings and “It’s Carson!” you know your brother and I are both competing for the opportunity to talk to you.

I can’t wait, Sonny, to see you as a Daddy.  I’ll probably have to close my eyes when you start your little guy riding bikes at 3 months, but I know that you will  follow in the footsteps of your Dad and Grandpa as an earthly model of our Heavenly Father.

I love this picture and I only know two of the subjects: you and your Grandpa.  It shows the you I love.  The willing joiner, the connector, the young man who takes an interest in other folk.  When I drove you around town back then, you would identify people all along the way. “Oh, there’s Stan…  Wait!  I know that girl… Is that Joey across the street?  (quick roll the window down)  Hi Joey!  That was Rhonda who drove by us.  Hey, I think that’s Josh’s friend.” 

When I told Bob about your friends coming backpacking his response was, “Carson, the Pied Piper.”  I hope you continue to grow as a leader.  And, by the way, I really like your friends.  I expect they will be life-long companions to you and Taryn like Jack and Lisa have been to us. A steady friend through life is a priceless gift.

Happy Birthday, Sonny.  May you continue to grow in grace and wisdom and knowledge of the Lord.




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