Sunday, April 15, 2012

Happy Birthday Kris

Perhaps it’s unusual to feel sad when one of your grown children has a birthday; I’m not sure. Nevertheless, I do. Maybe sad is not the right word. Meditative might be better. Preoccupied. Lost in thought. It doesn’t matter which word you use to describe it, it’s a strange feeling – and I’m experiencing it tonight.

Today is my son’s birthday. His age doesn’t matter. I’ll just say he’s not a child. In some ways, he’s had a rough life. Some of his problems were self-inflicted but, he started with three strikes against him, being the middle child. Technically, he isn’t because I have five children, but when you consider that the first was a boy who excelled in everything, making it difficult for number two to keep up, and the third was the first girl, whom everyone lavished with attention for no reason other than the fact that she was the first girl.

The order of birth made no difference to us, his parents. We loved Kris just as much as the others and never made a difference, but no matter how hard we tried, he always felt different. His way of handling it was to travel in the opposite direction from his older brother. Instead of getting attention by making the Honor Roll and National Honor Society, he vied for it by doing things he shouldn’t have. He was always in hot water!

I fixed dinner for Kris and his wife today. It was a nice visit. The four of us ate dinner and then sat in the family room listening to music and talking. When they left, sadness came over me like a sudden chill. As I sat alone, my mind drifted back many years. Kris, at age four, was the cutest little tow-headed guy with eyes as blue as the sky on a clear summer day, and a smile that could charm a snake right out of a basket. I adored him! In my eyes, he could do no wrong, but he and his father had many problems as he grew up.

When he was sixteen, he and a friend decided to run away from home.  A girl Kris had a crush on had moved to Ohio. The boys thought it a good idea to get Kris’ savings out of his bank account and head for Ohio to see Tammi. (I’ll never know why the bank teller let a sixteen year old take the money out, but it was done. We were furious when we found out!)

That one almost killed me… not knowing where my son was for two days, and imagining every terrible thing possible. The two of them started out on Evan’s motorcycle, which was scary in itself… but, luckily, it broke down not too far down the road. Then, thinking like the children they were, they took the money and bought Greyhound bus tickets to get to their destination. We had no idea where they were, but, thank God, a so-called friend finally snitched on them. Both dads got together and headed for Ohio the next morning to fetch the two of them.

In the meantime, a neighbor of Tammi’s noticed her taking food into her basement at odd times and, thinking it strange, called the police. They surprised the boys late at night and took them into custody, and they waited in the city jail until their dads showed up.

Apparently, the long trip home was awkward.

There were other episodes throughout his life, but we got through them. Kris finally grew up, married young, had two children, and worked in his dad’s business. Life goes on for him as it does for all of us. He’s still a tow-headed charmer and I still adore him. Nothing will ever change that!

Yet, sometimes I wish we could go back and start over. But we can’t. The past is the past. We go on from here.  


Jimbob said...

It's not so bad peg. All boys do things like that. It makes them better men. jimbob

Anonymous said...

A great post peggy. So much emotion. Your son is lucky to have so much love from his mother. I expect heknows it.

luella said...

Only a mother could feel what your talking about peggy. I understand it. you want your kids to have perfect lives and it hurts when things go wrong. luella

sam said...

hey peg. your right. you have to go on from here. don't live in the past. good story. sam

Anonymous said...

Good story about your son peg. I'm sure he's a fine man now. Don't fret over the past.