Wednesday, April 28, 2010

About A Boy

I write an awful lot about our girls and I would never want you to think I favor them over our wonderful son. We love them all the same ~ which is completely! Chris is our middle child and is sandwiched between our two girls. All the kids are three years apart in age. Chris was born in 1975 and I think the Lord sent us the best little boy possible as we had some rough roads ahead right after he was born.

Within three months of his birth, we lost Jim's brother and only sibling (age 26) in a terrible motorcycle accident and moved into the first home we ever purchased within just a few weeks. To say it was a stressful time would be grossly understated. Talk about putting us in a tailspin, that was the year if ever there was one.

The Lord sent us this beautiful little boy and somehow we got through the days and weeks of that first year, largely because he was such an angel. Chris has always been the best of sons. Honestly, he doesn't have an ounce of guile in him. He is kind, funny, has a winning smile and is so good-natured and was always obedient. He is a person who just seems to be so comfortable being himself. I would get so frustrated with his messy room and say very sternly, "Christopher Andrew, get in that room right this minute and get it picked up!" He would take the last bit of wind out of my sails with a good-natured..."OK, Momma!"

It was interesting raising one boy and two girls. The girls had their hormonal ups and downs but Chris just seemed to glide through things...always landing sunny side up. He is one of those people, as an adult, that works so incredibly hard but makes life look easy. His life has a flow to it that I truly envy and admire. He is calm and centered. Chris has never had self-esteem problems...he views himself as no better and or worse than anyone else. He lives a simple life and doesn't make himself crazy second guessing himself. If only that quality could be bottled and sold to the females on the planet.

Chris is our child that dug the deepest roots. He never wanted to leave home and our house and the community of friends he had established from his youngest years. He would come unglued if we even looked at houses in other places which we loved to do, especially in San Francisco. He wanted to stay put, after all this was HOME!

When he was a teenager he would often invite me into his room just to talk. He liked to run things by me and many a night we talked long and late about friends he was concerned about because they were on a wrong path. Sometimes it would be about his life in general and his future plans. He sought our advise often. He was always very compassionate about kids that really struggled with their parents and other issues. His best friend was Josh, and he had Cystic Fibrosis and died in his mid-twenties. Chris spent countless hours with Josh as the hospital playing Star Wars when they were little and just hanging out as they grew up.

He is a really musical guy and loved singing for me and playing his guitar. To this this day I miss those times so much. I remember him singing all kinds of versions of Rocky Raccoon to me and changing the lyrics as he went along just to make me laugh. He was an inventor in embryo, even then. He was a singer and performer from junior high on and learned to play the piano on his own right before his mission to South America. He was able to do this by transferring what he knew on the guitar and one day just sat down and started playing. It was mind-blowing and he used it through out his mission in most church meetings.

I loved to watch him learn from his Dad a lot of the important" guy things" and I still enjoy watching them work on projects together. He learned to play baseball and do his scouting projects to get his Eagle Scout Award with his Dad's interest and help. He learned to be a wonderful husband and father by following his Dad's good example. And just like his Dad he can fix anything. Right now he is remodeling their basement (with Missy's help) in his spare time. They has just finished digging out the window wells for the new windows in Connor's new bedroom.
He is a spiritual guy and prayed his way into BYU with a B+average when straight A's were preferred. Everyday he'd call me at lunch time to see if his acceptance letter had come in the mail yet. If not, he just kept tirelessly petitioning the Lord. He prayed his heart out and got in! He signed up for summer semester so he literally left home the night he graduated from High School. We picked him up at 3:30 am from Grad Night to get him to Utah the next day in time for his college orientation.

Since that time he has received his BS, MA, and a PhD in mechanical engineering. He served a two year mission for Jesus Christ in Brazil and since high school has only lived at home for four months after his mission until the next semester began.

Had I known on Grad Night it was not ever going to be the same after he left home, I would have cried a lot more and harder for the missing of such a fine boy! Somewhere during all of that time he grew into a brilliant man. I could keep up with my smart boy, but the brilliant man has been a lot harder. I tried to read his Master's thesis and after the first two paragraphs had no remote conception of what he was talking about. Engineering and inventions of these tiny mechanical devices somehow eludes me. Fortunately, his Dad gets that sort of technical stuff and could follow along and at least ask intelligent questions. As for me...not really. I like to talk to him about the other aspects of his life.

While Chris was in school he worked for an engineering firm in Utah and even went to live and work China for 18 months for them, after getting his doctorate in NY. The CEO wanted him to become a full partner with him but Chris decided to go to the academic side of engineering so he could do research and teach.
He is such a people person so that was a great choice for him. Being an educator has served him well for the last four year at the University. He has been married to Melissa for almost 13 years and they have three sons and one daughter. They have a wonderful happy little family. He serves as scout master in the church and travels a lot for the University and presents papers, gives lectures and gets grants for research, etc. along with teaching classes.

So the reason I am telling you all this, is not for his benefit...he does not read the he has no time. But it is to let you know that I don't write about him as much because I don't get that much time with him. The truth is I miss him terribly but, I just try to make the best of it as I know he is doing exactly what he should be doing. He is independent, spiritual, happy in his marriage and a wonderful father. He is doing what we raised him to do and everything we wanted him to do. But the truth is that his successes have come because of who he is. He just came that way. We were blessed. And we are so very proud of all his goodness and his accomplishments in setting and reaching his goals.

He has lived 17 of his 35 years away from us and that is so hard for me. He is so good to call us and he treats me like a queen when we are together and always has. He is a best friend to both Jim and to me. I realize as I have been writing this how very much I miss him and those special times we use to have just talking and hanging out when he never wanted to even think about leaving home.

And look at him now. I am still surprised when I see him and he is a MAN. In my mind's eye he is still that 18 year old boy going off into his future, none of us knowing it was the end of an era. And suddenly I am feeling emotional and there are tears running down my cheeks.

When he was a little boy he was sometimes sad that he didn't have a brother to play with. I always told him it was because we could never love another little boy as much as we loved him. I was mostly trying to appease and comfort my little, lonely boy, but in reality I was telling him the absolute truth. The extent of which I barely knew myself at that time.


Laura said...

What a beautiful tribute. A beautiful look into a Mom's relationship with her son. May I have that relationship with my sons. You are a great writer. I could feel your love for your son. Beautiful.

Julie Harward said...

What a neat son and he had a great mom you! Sounds to me like he had a mission on the earth to fulfill and that he is doing it in a honorable way. Thank goodness for good men!
It makes me sad too...daughters are always your daughters but have to let them go because they have wives and sometimes thats hard.:D

Bonnie said...

Thanks Laura, it is so nice to hear from you. You are so lucky to have your four sons and Maddie of course!

Love to you and Big B!

Bonnie said...

Very true, Julie! It is bitter sweet.

LA Adams said...

I've never met Chris, he sounds like a terrific person. Rebekah left her graduation to go to Utah - and now she's in Texas. Chris even looks like his dad and I love the slide show! Very nifty.

Bonnie said...

Linda Ann, you are such a kindred spirit. We just have to get together and do something fun soon.

Caroline Craven said...

I completely understand these feelings you have expressed. Sometimes I look at Trevor and already I have sad feelings that someday he is going to leave home. How did you ever survive him being on a mission and how will I ever send my baby boy on a mission and not see him for two years? Chris and Trevor seem to have similar personalities, so I can really appreciated all the sentiments. What a good boy you and Jim raised, along with those good girls of yours. Job well done!!!

Marie said...

Your Chris is the same age as my oldest son Anthony. I have enjoyed seeing the pictures and reading about this fine man you have raised, so very much. Oh how very blessed you have been to be able to raise your family in the church with a husband that believes and lives as you do, with faith, and how blessed your children are to have been raised in your home. I often think if only . . . if only . . . things could have been so different for me and for my children. We are happy, and we love each other, but it could have been so much better and it would have been so nice to have children that understood, embraced and lived the Gospel right along with me. You are such a lucky woman! So am I, but in a different way. Love you loads and loads! xxoo

bj said...

I thank God in Heaven every single day for the gifts of our son and daughter. All the little grands are the icing on the cake..:))

Your son is a handsome thing...and I am thankful he has brought such joy to your life. Visa versa, I am sure!! :)
xo bj

Kelly Ann said...

Okay...fess cried a bit writing this..right...because I did reading it and I'm not a do love that boy of yours and it shows in your words..

Dorothy said...

Dear Bonnie:
Somehow I missed this entry yesterday. This was such a wonderful tribute to your son ---and your son has paid his parents a great tribute by the life he has lived. I loved getting acquainted with him a bit through your words and the slide show.

Nellie's Cozy place said...

Hi Bonnie,
What a lovely and heartfelt post.
It is so hard how things change when they leave home, but it really helps to know it is all part of God's plan doesn't it!! I really think that guys can not have the same kind of relationship they had with their Mom as a child or it will keep them from bonding and cleaving to their wife properly. Which sorta stinks for us Mom's but I think we just have to accept that as part of the Lord's plan, cause at one time, we were #1 in their lives but along comes the love of their life and we have to take #2 position. We feel a lil like the first child that was replaced by the 2nd, only hopefully we handle it better since we are adults!! lol
Course, you really wouldn't want it to be any other way, or they might not have a good marriage.
I remember after Jim and I were married and I came back from Germany before him and was at his parents house, he called me, and
just said Hi to his Mom and immediately asked for me. I really felt bad for her, and said
to her that must really be hard for you, and she said well, that is the way it is suppose to be!!
We can bask in the fact that we did our very best to raise them and had all those special times with them, and it is probably that sort of relationship they looks for in a wife, hopefully!!
But it is surely a loss that you just have to deal with. I think that when we get to heaven we will have all eternity with them, so that helps too!! lol
You have a good day, loved all the pics of him, he was a cutie
and is a very handsome hubby, his wife is so cute too, and they look very happy together.
Have a great weekend my friend,
Love ya, Nellie

Bonnie said...

It meant a lot to me that Chris actually saw this post and responded via a comment to my e-mail.

Hi Mom,

Thanks for the great posting. I can tell you worked hard on it. Its good to get your perspective on my past, because for me its just a big blur... so thanks.

Love ya,