Christopher turned 14 a week ago and somehow our family found a bit of time to take a couple of photos to mark the occasion.
I love this one of Jonathan and I:
I would show more of them except then you would realize two things:
1: I haven’t had my roots dyed since roughly the Cretaceous Age of the dinosaur, and 2: I NOW HAVE FREAKING GREY ROOTS to contend with. (Apparently, if you are the constituional peasant in Dark Age Britain named Dennis, you aren’t old at 37. But once you hit 38, it’s all downhill from there.
(“Dennis! There’s some lovely filth over here!”)
(“Now we see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help! I’m being oppressed!!!”)
(Oh, Monty Python…how I adore thee.)
Where was I?
I have spent a good deal of our 15-year marriage really taking this dude for granted.
We have been trying really hard to make time for each other but it is a huge challenge at the moment.
Like most humans on the planet, life is really, really busy.
For some reason, everyone in my entire family has either decided to move or execute (very happy but also stressful and/or complicated) wedding plans all at the same freaking time and it seems like they are all happening in the next couple weeks. (Ok, fine. My twin sister and I are neither moving nor having a wedding, but she is the middle of the rather daunting process of major brain surgery and I have the contents of my parent’s house in my garage and they are coming to rip out half my backyard to make a walkout basement apartment for my adult parental units later this week.)
Oh, and don’t forget the very first “family reunion’ we have ever planned is also happening next weekend (And of course it has to fall smack in the middle of one of those awesome weddings in the immediate family I earlier referred to). I was going to be ‘in charge’ of the reunion but since everything has changed with my parents, construction and moving, it is more along the lines of “Dear 5 other siblings and parents. We have this great cabin by a lake rented. We have paid for 4-days. If you don’t want to starve, bring your own food and prepare for most of us to not be super chatty as we will all be laying around the floor in pain or in a coma or helping put birdseed in little color-coordinated mesh bags to throw at the departing bride and groom on Saturday. KTnxbai!”
My family generally falls under the umbrella of “Living a BIG life” both good AND bad, but this is just a lot for any one family.
There just aren’t enough people, hands, or strong backs right now, but we are all doing the best we can for each other.
And it has TOTALLY made me appreciate the people and wonderful things that have been given to me.
Especially my husband.
The last couple of weeks have been particularly stressful for various reasons. For one, the night before Christopher was supposed to go on his Boy Scout “High Adventure”, Jonathan felt strongly that he should go along with him.
(I feel the need to insert that a few years ago, I found out just HOW boys at Scout camp “put out the campfire”. Dude. That is the very last time I will EVER ask “What happens at Scout Camp?” All you people with boy bits know that you can be totally, totally, gross, right? ;) )
Between his other commitments, Jon leaving with Christopher meant I’d be on my own with my parents and a hyper 4-year-old little pat of butter. It really stressed me out. Even during the times where Jonathan and I are running hard in different directions due to responsibility, just knowing he is around is pretty important to me. Besides the fact that I just really like having him around, to quote John Adams, he’s “My ballast”.
I’m like a sail flying everywhere without that dude to anchor me. And because everything is so stressful and hectic, I knew it would be a tough week with him AND Christopher gone. I was also pretty concerned that Jon wasn’t really in the best shape to go backpacking for 25-miles, but I was assured that round is a perfectly acceptable shape. ;)
My whining aside, I knew that Jon going with Christopher was very important, for a few reasons.
For starters, I told you that Christopher turned 14 a week ago.
But what you may not realize is that…um…he looks a whooooooole lot older than that.
Huge, actually. He wears a size 13 shoe and comes in at 6″1 and a half and weighs in at roughly 215 lbs.
See? (I’m 5’8 and about 140-ish pounds for reference of scale.)
All the kids have.
Y’all haven’t actually SEEN all my kids in awhile, have you?
In fact, this is probably how you best remember them:
I confess, that they are often stuck in my memory just like this:
But this is what they look like now:
I have come to rely on him a lot. He helps out a ton with Aaron and reaches things on my top pantry shelf that is still a touch too high for even his Amazon mother to reach. But like I said…Christopher looks a lot older than he really is. *I* forget how young he really is a lot of the time and often put expectations on him simply because of the visual “HE IS FREAKING BIG”ness that goes on between eyeball and brain.
So, I was very concerned all summer about this upcoming backpacking trip and how tough it was going to be on him.
Next to Jonathan, Christopher was the biggest BUT the YOUNGEST person on that very tough backpacking trip. So, having his father there to give him extra help and attention was pretty vital. And that was confirmed when everyone came back. Jonathan was able to give him advice and help and most of all…wisdom to know when to participate in something and when you or your body have been taxed enough and it’s OK to not be neck and neck with the rest of the crowd all the time.
Christopher really relied a lot on Jonathan and his wisdom, so I was really happy the choice had been made even though it was a tough week.
And I have rarely been so glad to see anyone as my tired husband and son come through my front door.
Because I need them a whole bunch.
Just having them in my house again gave me a bit more spine and made my shoulders feel stronger to bear up and keep going.
I have my little flock back under my roof again.
All is well.