I guess it's to be expected that I might usher out 2012 and race to drag in 2013 but that's not the case. 2013 means a full year to come of no Christopher and that's not something I'm interested in. I think I'll stick with happily hugging 2012 for a while thanks.
Two thousand twelve was wonderful - for the most part, eleven months of it anyway. There were so many great aspects of it, why would I wish them away so fast?
January: Of course it began with Christopher's birthday on the 9th. He kicked off the new year of birthdays in the family. He had the first one on the calendar. The big deal about him turning seventeen in 2012? Driving after 9pm... UGH! I dreaded that - he constantly brought it to my attention beforehand too. He'd smile with that shit-ass grin and remind me that once he hit that magic age he could stay at Bailey's beyond 9 because he took drivers ed. I hated that!! I loved having the law on my side so I had someone else to put the blame on for making him come home so early... I leaned on the rules and used them to my advantage. I used to tell him how lucky he was to use Skype once he got home so he could say goodnight to Bailey. Somehow I guess I hoped that would ease his annoyance. I would text him at 8:30 so he knew it was time to say goodnight to her. I reminded him that he was so fortunate because “skyping” wasn't available in the 80's with my boyfriend... nor were cellphones. I told him I shared one rotary phone with a long cord between 11 of us. Like he cared????? He didn't. He wanted to stay at the Wind's. I don't blame him. I used to text Bailey's mom and tell her I was coming over too - her house was so much fun!!! I was envious. My place was quiet and boring.
I don't recall much about the winter, other than we really didn't have snow. That was great for him, of course, because he was my “shoveler” and “car cleaner offer”... I know he reveled in skipping those duties. He was good, however, at warming up the cars in the morning. He would start them up and let them run a while so they were toasty when we would head out for work and school.
June brought junior year graduation which was exciting. Junior year is in my opinion the toughest. Chris took some hard classes but finished with a 92. WHEW!! I was so happy once SAT exams were finished as well as finals and term papers. I say it like I had anything to do with them... I didn't. I guess I just commiserated because I remember going thru it myself junior year of high school.
June also brought the beginning of football. Camps began. Oh my, was Chris out of shape! He came home groaning, sore, tired and hungry. He twisted his ankle too but he was also excited. These camps meant he was headed into his senior season and that was something he had been waiting for! As a junior plainsman (pop warner football) he looked up to the varsity players in awe. He thought they were NFL stars. He loved it when they talked to him and gave him pointers. Once June hit he was sorry he didn't listen to my advice and go running in the Spring. He should have! I got the giggles when he could barely walk up the stairs. "What's the matter Chris?" I'd ask him. He'd do that famous eye roll and grunt with each excruciating step of the stairwell. Eventually he toughened up and those calves were like rocks again.
We spent a bunch of time looking at colleges thru Spring and Summer. I used up almost all of my vacation time. It really was our summer 2012 vacation. We went to Springfield, Assumption, UMass, Holy Cross, U New Hampshire, SUNY Cortland, St. John Fisher, U Maryland, U So. Carolina, SUNY Albany and Marist. There were some colleges that liked Chris for football and some Chris liked whether they liked him or not. We had a lot of fun. Every place we went we had to try the cafeteria... No visit was complete without the dining hall experience. He never found one he didn't enjoy. He tried breakfast, lunch and dinner at some - all in the same sitting. I know he would have put on the freshman fifteen no matter what school he picked. Probably would have been more like thirty.
When SHEN football tryouts approached things got a bit more intense. I remember the day the roster was posted; Chris sent me a text "I made the team!" I got the biggest kick out of it. Of course you made the team I thought to myself - you're a senior how could you not???? You've never missed a year since Kindergarten!!! But it was cute he didn't assume it. It made me grin at my desk at work. I loved his random texts. I still think I'm going to get one... I wish I would.
Once Fall hit, Chris made team captain. Oh my God I thought Mike would broadcast it to the world. I don't know who was happier but I remember we were all thrilled. Never could I have expected that my son would hold a leadership position like that at such a big school!!! How prestigious but what big shoes to fill! Good thing he wore a fourteen cleat! Coach Clawson told me Chris was a great leader. Loud when necessary but not often - and when he was - the team listened. I have never heard Chris yell, or get loud. Sometimes he'd get excited on Xbox but never did he raise his voice or get upset. I wish I had some of his locker room talks on video. Those are something I have never seen and that's an atmosphere I'm not accustomed to. That would be different for me. I'd enjoy that. I like thinking about it. I wonder what he said to motivate them???
Fast forward thru the season to the last playoff game. The SHEN kids gave it their all but Shaker had it all going on that night. Both wanted it but Shaker had that extra something to propel them to the victory. I never said it out loud but as a mom my heart lied with a Shaker victory. (Sorry Coach!) Shaker had never gotten that far and I could feel the happiness pouring out of them. It was impossible not to want to see them win in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, my heart burst for Christopher and SHEN and it was heartbreaking to see Chris linger on the field after it was over but I was so happy for the Shaker boys. Is that wrong? Chris was the last one out on the grid iron, so distraught we sent Bailey out to get him. Some of his teammates were already showered and gone and we couldn't get Chris off the fifty yard line. He was sobbing and sobbing and in a heap on the ground.
I always found it interesting how men could fall to pieces during a sports loss, isn't it just a game??? Apparently not. I believe I understood more about it that night when I felt my sons sorrow. It's not just a game, it's life. A very important piece of their life that remains forever more.
Well, that brought us into November the 27th which was Chris and Bailey's one year anniversary. I had the pleasure of helping him fund the evening as well as choose the dinner menu. He called me on the phone at work because he couldn't find the mozzarella sticks. Hello? The freezer might be a good place to look! That's where we put them when we bought them at the store... I wasn't there for the date but I found the remnants of what must have been a good time when I got home from work. There were tealight candles on the table and Diana Krall music playing on my ipod. Now that's cute :-) Do seventeen year olds know who she is? Mine did. Seems he must have paid attention to my musical selections when I didn't realize.
So, 2012 was for the most part a magnificent year for me. I had my son for eleven months! Better than 2013 when I won't physically have him for any. I'd like to remain in two thousand twelve if God would allow but I know he still has plans for me. He wants me to keep moving forward. So I will. But only if you stick with me too. I don't want to carry this load alone. You make me feel better. You respond to me and share my grief. You make me feel less lonely. You tell me stories of your family and I like reading about you because it takes my mind off my worries. I see the same names reply on my blog and I feel as though I have new friends. I DO have new friends! Who would have ever thought we'd meet and share these sort of details? Maybe you find it as helpful as me?
I hope you'll look back on 2012 and remember all the great things that happened rather than wish a full year away. There must be a handful of things about it that were wonderful and unique? I know I have plenty. Many more than I noted here. I so wish I was just heading into 2012 so my son was here with me still. I will relish everything I can remember and I pray you'll do the same. Enjoy 2013 and all it has to bring but don't trash 2012, it's way too meaningful to all of us.
Thank you for reading. Happy New Year!