Chris holding Ethan
:: Your dad refused to let me name you Christopher Robin, assuring me that you would not appreciate being named after Pooh’s best friend. As usual, he was right.
:: I walked you to school your first day of first grade at Central. It was so momentous to me…such a watershed. You took it all in stride. A photo of you, sitting at your desk in red-and-white striped shirt, made the front page of The Observer.
:: I drove you to school your first day of second grade at Heidi Ho. You balked. Refused to enter the classroom. Stunned me. My compliant child had the ability to rebel!
:: Back at Central for third grade, there was The Day you grew up. No more goodbye kisses. When I dropped you off, your classmates were loitering on the sidewalk. You leaned left towards me, pivoted right toward your friends, looked back at me, paused, did a vague hand motion, mumbled “Bye…”, and opened the car door. That goodbye ballet is seared in my memory.
:: The out of the blue jolt you will NEVER live down. I’d like to think I forgave you the instant you realized the thrust you gave me. “Mom, if you and Dad ever get divorced, can I live with Dad?”
:: The time I yelled, “Strike him out, Chris! You’ve done it before; do it again!” You informed me later that you had never struck that batter out. My over-the-top baseball mom-ness embarrasses me now.
:: How you drove a truck across the mountain one of your first days working at RD Mac. People tended to assume you were older and gave you responsibilities. And you have carried them faithfully.
:: The horror you expressed at how close you came to saying “whom did you want?” at baseball practice. I would have never lived it down. You caught yourself in time, and, I believe, have never used whom since. I was an obnoxious Grammar Sheriff, wasn’t I?
:: The day I penciled out how buying a house was a good investment. You embraced the idea; within two years you were a homeowner. Never thought it would take so long to sell your investment, huh?!
:: The night you asked Jessie to be your wife. Why, oh why, did I have to be in Portland? But I loved the phone call, the smiles I could hear, the joy. Her love for you is such a gift.
:: The tears you wiped after Preston’s birth reminded me of the tears your dad wiped when he looked down at your newborn face. Tenderness over babies is great grace.
:: The Wild Cow Race this Fourth of July. You in the rodeo? Seriously? After the chutes opened, I don’t think I breathed for three minutes.
Happy Birthday, dear boy. Your broad shoulders are capable. It’s been so much fun watching you grow up.