originally published February 20, 2006
Today is my only son's 17th birthday. Everyone should have someone in their life like Christopher. He brings delight and joy wherever he is. He weighed 9.3 when he was born; a chunky, beautiful, fair-skinned bundle of love. For the first few hours he was naked because the nurses couldn't find a "hospital-issue" sleeper big enough for him. Dr Mesko gave the babies he delivered a t-shirt that read "Delivered with Love by Dr. Mesko." From Christopher's first breath, he was too big for that t-shirt. (But I still have it.)
He was a very contented baby who slept lots, was pleasant when he was awake, was easily entertained, and who smiled lots and lots. Everyone loved Christopher. At church, people gravitated to him so they could enjoy he gummy smiles. Mike Holder use to get in Christopher's face and say, "Christopher, get a job," and Christopher would kick and cackle excitedly.
When he was 3 he began developing a fine sense of humor. I'm sure he had heard these expressions somewhere, but one winter day he, Stephanie, and I went for a drive in the country. Christopher said, "Mom, I need to water my horse." Puzzled, I asked what he meant. "You know Mom, I need to make some mud." I quickly figured out he needed to pee.
Around the same time he entered a very pronounced cowboy phase. He took it very seriously, wearing western clothes and boots everywhere. What I wouldn't give to have those little gray boots now. Gordon sent him a lariat and Christopher took it wherever he went. He rode his tricycle down the sidewalk hollering "giddy-up" or "Eeeeeaww" playing like he was roping calves with his new rope.
After Gordon and I got engaged, we came to Canada for a visit. We went to Ft Steele to enjoy the western frontier life for a day. Gordon had a connection there so Christopher got to sit on one of the gigantic Belgian horses that even I would have been scared to sit on. The horse took one step and Christopher's eyes widened and he declared, "Wooooe, this one's a wiiiild one."
When we moved to Canada, he quickly adopted Gordon's fuzzy blanket with a horse on it as his own. To this day, we call that blanket the horsie blanket. At nap time he would curl up in his horsie blanket and when I left his room I'd say "Nappy Noon Christopher." He would counter with, "Mom, cowboys don't say Nappy Noon."
The next summer when he came to visit, I rented some videos about real cowboys. We watched boy cows being made steers (being neutered) and Christopher watched with sympathetic eyes. I explained the process and the reason behind it as best I knew. He took his thumb out of his mouth long enough to say, "When I get my farm, I'm not gonna do that to my cows."
The cowboy obsession is far behind Christopher. Now he drives a hippy van, plays football, leads worship some, plays guitar, and takes kindness and joy everywhere he goes.
I'm thankful for Christopher. I'm thankful I was chosen to give him birth. I'm thankful for the innumerable precious memories I have. I'm thankful Christopher walks with God and desires to honor and glorify him with his life.
Happy Birthday Christopher. I pray it will be a GREAT year for you. I love you.