Saturday, February 16, 2013

Chris' idiosyncrasies

I was out running a few errand yesterday and while driving my mind wandered toward Chris, of course, and some of the characteristics that made his personality so engaging and endearing to so many of us.

As a little guy Chris would never play with his toys or watch TV unless he was on the same floor as me.  Even though I had a full finished basement with a playroom and a big screen TV there was no way he would go down there alone.  He was not the bravest soul when he was young.  I don't know if he had a particular fear or if he was just so sociable that being alone was a turn off.  It used to drive me nuts because there were times when I wanted a break yet there he was every time I turned around.  I'd remind him of all the toys that were down in the playroom but he never took the bait to go hang out on his own down there.

He did the same thing about being upstairs in his room.  He had a huge window where the sun spilled in all day long.  It was comfortable and inviting.  Would he spend time there? No. He typically dragged his toys into the kitchen or living room where I was.  At the end of the day I swear I would open the basement door and throw the stuff down the stairs so I could get my house back in some sort of order.  All those kid toys are enough to drive a mom crazy.  There are so many!

I used to "rotate" the kids toys.  Because they were so fortunate and had so many things to play with we used to only keep a certain amount out in their toy box.  The rest we kept stored away in a plastic container.  A couple of months later we would swap out all the toys and they would be so excited!  It was like Christmas for them.  They'd be entertained with so many new (but not really) things it would occupy them.

But I went off the subject...

So back to not wanting to be on any floor of the house by himself, as Chris grew up, he never lost the "wanting to be with people" characteristic.  He did not like being home alone. He would call or send texts asking what time I'd be there and when I did get home I got the biggest kick out of what I'd find... every single light on in the house, both upstairs and down. Looked like an open house going in because there wasn't a lamp or overhead left off.  My electric bill was typically a good one.
I never said anything to Chris about his fear.  I secretly embraced it and never brought it to his attention.  I thought it was sweet.  My linebacker was afraid of the dark - well sort of. :-)

I could predict what the house would look like when I pulled up, I'd have bet money on it if anyone ever wanted to gamble on it.  My house was visible from down the road, it could probably have been seen from a low flying plane.  So cute Chris; 245 pounds and as tender as could be.
Chris was afraid of bees too.  Yep, he was the first one running.  It didn't matter if I tried to reason with him and tell him to just be still, he'd flip when he saw one and his commotion sometimes made things worse.  Yes, he'd been stung several times and luckily wasn't allergic but he was irrational in his gyrating and flailing of his arms when one came around. For the most part I cracked up at his antics but I was known to yell a bit on occasion and tell him to stop his nonsense, pretty funny to think about now.  
Sometimes if we were eating dinner on the deck and the bees came around he'd revert to his baby-like status and take his plate inside.  He'd tell us we were nuts and if we wanted to stay out and get stung don't come crying to him!  (ha hah!)
A couple of times I remember looking out the window as he was mowing the lawn only to see him running like a mad man.  Yep, I knew he either mowed over a ground nest or there was one in the air bugging him.  Actually, I do believe Chris sends little fruit flies and gnats to annoy me.  I've come to the conclusion that he's saying hello and so even though I'm guessing he's trying to get under my skin - it's not working.  I'm on to him!  I embrace the pesky little bugs with a smile... as well as a swat with my hand.

I really wish Chris would text me again and say, in his lazy English texting grammar "what time u b hm"?  Which, in mom terms means "I don't like being here by myself can you please leave work now and come home?"  I'd love nothing more than to do that Chris and I'd like nothing more than for every single light in the house to be turned on with the electric meter rolling in circles just like the Christmas Vacation movie.  It would be my pleasure and my joy.  I love you Squirt!!

Thank you for reading.


  1. Ahh, the one place where it seems Chris and I are total opposites. Yeah, I'm a big baby when it comes to the dark and if I hear a creaking or any noise when I'm home alone, I start formulating plans about how to disarm the intruder. However, I really do enjoy it for the most part. I'm always getting scolded lovingly by mom for how much time I spend alone, either playing guitar, violin, piano... singing... writing... Sometimes I just have movie marathons with myself. Don't get me wrong, I love being around people! It's just that I find even going through a school day to be a little overwhelming to be constantly surrounded, especially these days. After practice, I'll just hibernate, as my parents call it. On the rare weekends without regattas, I take time to breathe and just chill by myself. Running around absolutely all the time is definitely not for me. I have my fun with my friends and get to practice and student government events and everything else just fine, but when I can, I definitely just chill by myself.

    The light thing though? I totally do that. My dad hates the electric bill.

    I love that you keep sharing these little things about Chris. I've decided that it's not the big things that make us who we are, it's all these little tiny things. Well, it's the big things too, but the big things are so similar to everyone else. The idiosyncrasies that you share help me know Chris a little better. It makes me smile when I read it and mourn even more for the loss of such a real, amazing person.

    Forever in my prayers.

  2. Mrs. Stewart,

    I just wanted to say that I very much enjoy reading your blog about your son, Chris. I appreciate your strength and commitment to remember your son who sounded like a wonderful and caring human being. I too am going through hardship, nothing compared to what your family and friends have gone through with this but, i can say that reading your blog has been a blessing and it has kept me smiling knowing that life will always be precious yet, will always be hard. I hope you continue to keep writing and I just wanted to thank you for sharing your thoughts about your son, Chris. thanks, again..

  3. I'm afraid of bees too Christopher. And, at 44 years of age, I still run around flailing my arms!!

    1. Chris I am right there with Kathleen! I ran and flinch like no tomorrow!

  4. Regina, this made me smile a bit. To think about a big football player being afraid of anything... The picture just doesn't add up, but it is truly endearing to see the soft side of someone so 'tough'...

    My son Jeff never minded being home alone, preferred it actually, but not Ally. That's probably one of the reasons we are always together. The lights are on in the house ALL the time because she gets freaked out if she has to go into a dark room. When we had a shower curtain instead of the glass doors, I would have to go in the bathroom first and open the shower curtain to show her no one was in there!

    I remember one time my husband and I had to go somewhere and she had to stay home alone. I felt horrible. I don't like doing it, if at all possible. Well, she got spooked by a sound and ended up closed up in her bedroom with the doors closed and every possible light in the house on and she sat in the corner of her room until I could get home. I believe the dog knocked a baking pan off the counter, but she didn't know that at the time so she stayed hauled up in her room on the phone with me the whole time, until I could get home. I was only volunteering at bingo and she couldn't get in touch with a neighbor friend of ours so I got home and calmed all her fears. When I found out what the noise was she went into a fit of uncontrollable laughter which shrunk her to tears... and then laughter again. Sufficed it to say, she doesn't stay home much, if at all possible.

    Bees, she would save every one of them... she's not afraid of bees and they don't typically sting her. I call her Ace Ventura actually. Lover of all creatures. Once we were in a paddle boat on a lake and she found a bee floating in the water still alive. She scooped it up into her tiny hand and we paddled it (about 5 minute ride) to land where my husband took it from her to put it in the tree she pointed out. Right after he turned to walk it over to the tree it stung him! She immediately cried because she knew it would inevitably die, but it was cute of her to save it.

    My son was more like Chris with the bees. I could remember many instances where I would have to tell him to just relax because he was causing a scene. It must be a boy thing with bees.

    Thank you for sharing Chris' idiosyncrasies with us. I love hearing about him and what a softie he was.

    God bless...

  5. Hi Regina,

    I hope you had a nice relaxing weekend and got some rest!

    The stories about Chris today were adorable as usual.. He's probably like "Awww Mom did you have to tell them this"? LOL..

    Thanks for sharing and take care.. Love the pictures too!! You have so many wonderful ones!


  6. Regina,

    The idosyncrasies of kids are just like their personalities...different for each one. It's amazing sometimes they come from the same genes!! Love that your big guy was such a softie. I know I've said it before but he so reminds me of my youngest two boys!

    Love your stories about the little every day things and getting to know Chris better. Thanks for sharing. Hope you were able to rest this weekend!

    Hugs and peace.

  7. Regina,

    I loved the Chris-isums...I think it is the baby of the family trait to not want to be in any room alone and always be with people.

    I am the youngest and I was like that and my youngest is like that too.
    When she was younger she wouldn't even go in the house by herself in the middle of the day to go to the bathroom if we were all outside...LOL one of us would have to go with her.

    Some days when you blog I can feel your smile as you relive the memories and it makes me happy and sad at the same time. You are a strong woman Regina, Chris your “Squirt” is very proud of you... :)

    Peace to you!

    God Bless, XO

  8. My daughter, 17, does not like to be home alone either. and I come home to every light on and dishes all over the kitchen. When I was in high school, I loved being home alone. how opposite my daughter and I can be...and so alike in other ways.