Friday, May 6, 2011

He Lived to See Adulthood

My son turns 19 years old today and that means I am getting old, but this post is not about me.  This post is about him regardless of how he may feel about it.  I generally do not ask my kids permission to do things.  My daughter says that is why I am not allowed to go to her school: EVER!!!

Christian turned three about two months after I started dating his mother.  In the beginning, we did not get along.  Christian had never had to share his mother before and he did not like me invading his space.  I honestly cannot say that I was much of a fan of him either.  Sometimes he drew blood protecting his territory.  I would sit down next to his mother and he would scratch me.

He also had a problem with controlling his saliva.  He drooled so much his shirt was always soaked.  He puked several times a day and destroyed every room he walked into.  The relationship between him and myself was becoming a major issue, but it changed in one night.

Lower right
Christina had to go to work and I was going to be left with him alone for the first time.  To be quite honest, I was not looking forward to it and Christian was not at all happy to see his mother leave.  We watched her drive off and looked at each other with disdain.  As we were heading back to the house, I noticed that our aluminum can bag was overflowing.  Aluminum was the one thing I would recycle.  Once the bag would fill, I would crush all the cans and put them into another bag until it was full and then take that bag in to cash it out.  It takes a long time to crush a trash bag full of cans, so I had found a faster and much more entertaining way to crush them.  I would use the lawn mower.

I would dump the cans in the grass and ride over them again and again until they were all flat.  I know it sounds juvenile, but I enjoyed it and they were my cans.  I can do it however I want.  So, I grabbed the bag to dump it in the yard and it immediately ripped spilling the cans all over the stairs.  I started throwing the cans in the middle of the yard to get them away from the house so they could be more easily reached with the riding mower.  Christian came and started throwing the cans around as well.  He did not know why we were doing it, but he was having great fun throwing cans around the yard.

Once they were all over the front yard I got the lawn mower out.  Christian wanted to ride on it also, so I lifted him up onto my lap.  He had never sat in my lap before.  He immediately grabbed the steering wheel so he could drive and I let him.  Once he figured it out he steered all the way from the barn to the cans.  He had the biggest smile on his face I had ever seen.  The drool pool was building quickly because his mouth was wide open.

Since we had a big, wide-open yard there was little danger of him running into things, so  I put the mower in a low gear and hopped off, letting him have complete control of the machine.  Now, he was the coolest person on earth.  I instructed him to drive around the yard crushing the cans while I picked them up.  He was more than happy to comply.  He was having a blast being a big man.

Christmas was always fun
It took about half an hour to get all the cans crushed and picked up.  I told him to drive the mower back to the barn, but had to meet him there because he did not know how to make it stop.  He held his head high as we walked back to the house.  We went inside, ate ice cream and then kicked a football around the yard.  After that, we were buddies.  When his mother came home that night our differences were gone.

Mr Character at the bottom
Christian still had a talent for testing my limits, but we liked each other after that.  Part of the thrill of our relationship was me letting him do things no one else would.  We rode four-wheelers, played with snakes, blew stuff up and rolled in mud.  We would dress up in crazy outfits to pick his mother up from work.  We would butt each other in the head until someone gave up.  It was usually me; that boy had a head of granite.  When he got a little bit older, we liked to get dropped off miles away from home and then have to figure out how to get back without a vehicle.

Our adventures did not stop as he got older.  We always found ways to get in trouble together.  One summer, we broke into a neighbor’s house and decorated it for Christmas, tree and all.  While living in Lincoln, we got into a neighbor’s apartment to steal all their light bulbs (including the one in the refrigerator).  We once got into a fight at a club and we have played mind games with people on the streets of Chicago, Cleveland, San Juan and Kansas City. 

Closest thing he had ever seen to a stripper.  He got the money in the thong part right.
I raised him well.  The boy has no shame and is willing to pull any stunt that can be thought up.  He now plays lead guitar in a Christian death metal band and lives for the crowd.  I miss him.  We used to have a lot of fun together and I am sure we will still get into our share of mischief together, just not as often.

I am moving back to Mount Vernon in a couple of weeks and look forward to us hanging out again.  Other people may not want to be around us at the time, but we will enjoy ourselves.

I love you.

1 comment:

  1. DO NOT BREAK INTO MY HOUSE OR I WILL NOT FEED EITHER OF YOU! You can however come to my house to be fed and play Apples and bring Christian too!

    That was beautiful and very well written as usual. I think you two have a unique and wonderful relationship and you have done well to raise the kids to live their lives and speak their minds. Well done.


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