Daily Affirmation

The best things in life are free.
The second best are very expensive.
- Coco Chanel

Monday, June 2, 2014

Happy 31st Birthday to Scott

This one is for Scott.  My baby.  The two others would say "the biggest baby."  Meh.  Wait until their "babies" grow up.  All of my children are strong, strong personalities, and I say that meaning it in the best sense.  All of them have their daddy's debate skills coupled with my family's strong propensity to "argue with a fence post."  (Oddly, I don't have a large helping of that gene - I'm more of a pleaser, wanting everyone to play nice.)  They are charming and funny, and have the gift of gab.  They are never at a loss for words.  They are not much like me.  And I say that with a sigh of relief.  No shrinking violets afraid to go after what they want in this bunch.  They are never without friends for more than 5 minutes.  Wallflowers at parties?  They don't know what that means.

 Katie, Rex, and Scott - a rare picture all together
 Moving day from California to Texas.  A dark day for this mom...

When Scott was born, Rex was 6 and Katie was 3.  Scott had big dark, dark brown eyes, and Rex used to say he always looked amazed.  He was always able to entertain himself - much more so than the other two.  Unlike Rex, he actually knew what to do with Legos, and he'd spend a lot of time playing with those.  As he got older, he had a riding toy (think they were called BigWheels?) that he would ride up and down the sidewalk with all the other kids in the neighborhood.  Even when he was just 2 or 3 I would go outside with him and he'd wave at any neighbor who was out, and say "Hello, hello!"  My little towheaded bundle of personality, who had the longest eyelashes, and when he cried, the tears would gather on those eyelashes and just drip off in huge, sad, splashy drops.  I couldn't resist him.  I would tell him he was a handsome boy as I held him up to the mirror and he would repeat back "I am hampmum boy!" (He's probably dying right now as he's reading this)

Scott was one of those kids who just went after things with everything he had.  Didn't stop to think much before he did it though.  So he was always the one with ripped shirts, mud on this clothes, broken bones.  There was a short period of time when I affectionately called him "my little dirt bag" because he played so hard he was always filthy.  I had to stop calling him that when he burst into tears once, and sobbed "I'm not a dirt bag!"  Sometimes we're a little dense as parents, not realizing when something wounds - because to us it's sweet and funny.  My heart still hurts a little when I think about that.

He broke his leg when he was just a little guy - about 18 months or so - stepping down into the family room from my mom's entry hall.  His leg whacked the tile as he fell and caused a greenstick fracture.  He didn't really cry, but he wouldn't stand up.  I kept trying to stand him up and couldn't understand "what's wrong with this baby."  Yep, mother of the year here...  Another time I had left one of those self-threading screws on the edge of the table, and went out into the garage to throw some laundry into the dryer.  I walked back in the house just in time to hear Scott go "Aaack!" and to notice that the screw was no longer there.  *sigh*  Off to the doctor for an X-ray - Scott called it his "boney picture."  I still have that boney picture that shows that little screw sitting there in his stomach.  We were a little nervous for a few days waiting for that thing to pass through.  At least he never shoved vitamins up his nose like Rex did...
These are all from his graduation day from Utah Vally University - above with
my grandma/his great grandma who made the trip to see him graduate in her 90s!
Best friend Bill "Petey" Peterson who drove up to help him move back home after graduation

 Graudation dinner with the family

 Singing with his friend's band later that night - such a fun night!

As he got old enough for school I had some serious concerns, because whenever Scott got hungry and his blood sugar dropped, he'd get really mean.  He'd starting hitting people, throwing things, whatever.  I can't count the number of times a baby sitter would call me saying that Scott was out of control.  I'd have to tell her to feed him something and call me back in 5 minutes.  It always did the trick, but what was he going to do in Kindergarten?  He couldn't bust out a sandwich whenever he felt cranky.  Luckily, he got the same Kindergarten teacher that both Rex and Katie had had.  (He was actually brought to her class as a baby when I'd help in the class)  Mrs. Patch told me not to worry about it - she would be able to handle him just fine.  I think he got grabbed by the ear a time or two, (back in the day when teachers still did things like that) but he survived it all, and seemed to grow out of that little problem.

He was just a gem of a little boy.  He loved the Ninja Turtles, and baseball.  He and Katie would play with their stuffed animals (Scott's were Chunky Dog and Care Bear), and they would take pictures with the Polaroid and make scrapbooks for their animals.  He loved to ride his bike, and I know I heard at least once about how he would scream down our street on his bike, narrowly avoiding the school bus.  (Can you say "lucky to be alive?")  I'm sure he was the kind of little boy that made people wonder where his mother was...  "Active" doesn't even begin to describe him.  Did I mention he liked to argue?  Oh my... the arguing I've heard from him.  I gradually learned that the best thing to do was to just say "Have it your way" and walk away, because he would never EVER give up.  Ever.

Scott knows how to be the favorite uncle!

When he was a little older - maybe 6 or 7, he and Katie were fighting about something.  He was on his skateboard, and she gave him a little shove.  Sadly, he fell and broke his arm.  But did I realize that?  NO.  I was so mad at the two of them that I made them go upstairs and clean their bathroom.  It wasn't until later that I realized there was something wrong and we had to rush to the doctor to have it looked at.  (Seriously, don't break a bone around me - you'll never get care).  He had to have a cast on for a few weeks, and he just sobbed because he'd have to miss his soccer games.    The league did let him play in one game, but had to tell him no after that, because they were afraid he'd knock another kid out with his cast.  When he was first learning to play soccer, someone kicked the ball in the air towards him, and we all shouted "Keep your eye on the ball, Scott!"  And... WHAM!!! That ball came down and hit him full in the face.  When we rushed over to see why he hadn't moved out of the way, he just cried "You TOLD me to keep my eye on the ball!"

Well, I could tell story after story about Scott.  When he was in high school I used to make dates with him where we would do things, just the two of us - he could choose what he wanted to do.  Those were my favorite times.  When it was just us, he would really talk to me, and I'd hear the most amazing things that he was thinking about.  He always did think about things in a way that was beyond his years.  When he was in 7th grade his best friend was killed in a car accident over Easter break.  Not only did he gather himself together enough to write and give a eulogy at the memorial service, but he also took it upon himself to go over to their house almost every day after school and play with Chris's brothers and sisters, because he knew they were missing their brother.  He did that for a really long time, and it just touched me what a sweet and tender heart he had.  An amazing boy, and once again, so far beyond his years.

He's my most difficult child in that he's prickly and sensitive, and he has a deep love of debate, and a deep loathing of being told what to do.  I just wanted him to clean his room and his bathroom.  And so we would go round and round and round.  And the room and bathroom didn't get cleaned very often.  But he's got that side to him that is sweet and sensitive and wise.  He can be very understanding and forgiving.  He will carry his wife's purse when they're out and about, and to me, that's the ultimate sign of a good man.  He can quote lines from every movie he's ever seen.  And he's funny.  Sooooo funny.  When you're with Scott, you just laugh until, well... tears roll down your legs.  I can be soooo aggravated with him because he's stubborn and argumentative, but then he'll make me start laughing, and I can't resist.

And so 31 years ago today, this amazing person came into my life.  Determined to be noticed, even though he was the smallest one.  Big, big personality.  Big, big fun.  Stubborn?  Sure.  Arguments aplenty.  But I'd go through every one of them again to watch his life unfold.  He and Ashley are just starting out life together.  There have been bumps and life events, just as we all experience, and I've been proud of the way they've worked through them together.  They're a good team out there in Texas. 

 Wheelchair dancing with his Nana at his wedding reception - she was 99.

Happy birthday, Scott.  Keep your sights set on the important things, and chart your course.  This is your year to shine.  I love you more than you could know.  Hugs from your mama in California.

Scott, Ashley and granddog Kingsley

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