Happy 21st Birthday, Kyle!

Today is my oldest son’s 21st birthday, and as usual, I will be missing it because of work. It’s sobering to believe he is already twenty-one, because it seems like yesterday he was a preemie in the hospital with a monitor the size of a VCR.

Kyle has always been a good student, and his teachers – at least in grade school – loved him. Kyle never acted out, never gave them grief, and always did his work. He bitched about it, but he did it.

He was – and still is – a very good athlete, exceling in our neighborhood’s street hockey leagues (Kyle was a goalie), soccer (also a goalie) and lacrosse (midfield and face-off). Both his grades and his sports acumen got him noticed by three colleges, and he decided to attend the University of Dallas…

Dallas did not work out – the classes were entirely too difficult – and for the first time in his life, his grades were subpar. He did, however, enjoy a year of the college experience.

All these qualities were impressive, but for me, the best part of Kyle is he’s a good person. Sure, he calls his friends a-holes, and he makes fun of his siblings, but when he’s in public, he is always a gentleman. I’d rather him be good than smart, or rich.

I still don’t know how that top kid turned into that bottom kid.

Being the firstborn, he will receive the birthright, and will eventually inherit the vast Earp fortune of a PlayStation, some movie posters, and my hockey jerseys.

Most of his friends are already 21, and I don’t know if they’ll take him out this weekend, because he has never had beer or alcohol. Ever. Swearsies, realsies!

Happy birthday, Kyle. We love you very much.

8 thoughts on “Happy 21st Birthday, Kyle!

  1. Good for you guys. It goes by so fast, doesn’t it? In our mid forties with our second half way through adolescence and making us all miserable on the way, my missus and I became foster parents. The system had 5 medically fragile kids coming to the community and they were desperate for medical families to take them. I’m a doc, and my missus may be the best RN in the country, but nothing prepared us for a 4 1/2lbs. premie who looked like a raisin with eyebrows, and whose arms and legs were so spindly, he looked like a spider. Our job was to put weight on him for adoption by family members. They repeatedly told us not to get attached.
    We both had to qualify on infant CPR and were warned that it was not a matter of “if” he would need it, but ‘when”. I’ve been to a couple of hundred code blues, but having it in your house, on a kid that weighs the same as a quarter pounder was pretty scary. My missus spent 3 months in his room, feeding him every 2-3 hours, and then watching him spit up most of what he ate. He was on an apnea monitor, and oxygen. she had to take a friend with her to carry his equipment for appts, which were two hours away. I got his first smile, and my missus was so jealous. And we reminded each other not to get attached.
    We got some weight on him, and CPS informed us that he was being adopted by out of state relatives, and that Penn. had done a home study and everything was great. They showed up, clearly clueless, spent 3 days getting to know him and then left with him at 4 AM one morning. That was in August. to say we were depressed would an understatement. We screwed up, and got attached.
    By Christmas we were getting calls from his local family wanting to know if he had been a “head banger” No, he didn’t have enough energy after breathing for anything like that. We called CPs about these calls. CPS called Pa. turned out he was in ICU with an intercranial bleed. In a child that age, that’s child abuse till proven otherwise. As the story came out, they also found a fractured forearm, a couple of broken ribs, and bruises under his scrotum, where the adoptive “father” had been kicking him to make him go away. PA. CPS arranged a foster home, and WA. CPS arranged for my missus and a social worker to go to PA. and get him. Both adoptive parents were charged with abuse and neglect. When he arrived at our home, he was clinging to my missus like a baby monkey, terrified to be put down. She had been carrying him for 14 hours.
    A weel later, CPS told us that PA had never done a home study, or they would have discovered that these two idiots were expecting their third child, on the verge of bankruptcy and only took our guy because he was “special needs” and they thought it would pay lots of money. They were both convicted but served no time. So much for Pa. being a “zero tolerance” state for child abuse. CPS told us that they could either try other family, or we could adopt him. He turns 24 this month. He is the kindest person I’ve ever known. Throughout school he looked for the kids who were alone or friendless and became their friend. He has the strangest menagerie of long term friends you can imagine. He is adored by everyone. He’s a wonderful musician, and the hardest working of our three, and I am a much better person for having met him. your story reminded that his birthday is coming up. Sorry this is so long…

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  2. Ronni – Thanks. He said he wanted to oped his gifts early so I could be there, but I told him to do it at dinner. Let everyone be awake while I’m at work.

    Digger – Kyle got the monitor because Mrs. Earp’s pregnancy was… stressful. They lost Kyle’s heartbeat, and they called a code in the room. They rushed me out and I assumed they both were going to die. 21 years later, the boy is pushing six feet tall and weighs about 120 pounds.

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  3. Happy Birthday Kyle. I hope you enjoy this very special day. If you ever get stranded in Colorado, you are always welcome in the Redneck clan.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mike AKA Proof – I bought him an LSU Joe Burrow jersey. Suffice to say he liked it.

    RG – He’s going to want to watch NHL and Premier League Soccer, so maybe make him watch it outside.

    MelP – Thanks. Not sure what his birthday dinner is, but I’d wager pancakes.

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