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Monday, October 04, 2004

"Ten-Four, Good Buddy"

Fifteen years ago, when the doctor said, "It's a BOY!", I honestly didn't believe him. We had a strict "no peeking" policy. So a couple months earlier, when they asked Charlie and I during an ultrasound if we wanted to know the sex of our third child, we declined. I always felt that that was cheating. Like opening your Christmas gifts before Christmas. That information was like your reward for nine months of waiting and hours of labor. Still, it wasn't until he held that globby, messy, screaming 8 pounds, 3 ounces of baby up for us to see, and my eyes went searching for a penis and found it, that I was satisfied. In the delivery room, we joked about how he's a "ten-four, good buddy" since he was born on October 4th. Bryson Rhys Mahu'i Ole A Pulama; meaning "Unexpected, but cherished." After two girls, finally, a baby with an extra part. I was beside myself. And then, I was scared to death. I knew what to do with girls. Now what?

He's as much like his father as anyone can possibly be. Good-looking as all get-out. Of course that's open to interpretation. Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder. My beholding capacity is without boundary. I adore this kid. He comes behind two outgoing sisters who love the stage. He complains non-stop about having to listen to "more Broadway?" and countless hours of stand-up comedy. Yet, because of it, he knows all the lyrics to everything from "Bye Bye Birdie" to "Avenue Q", and can recite monologues from early SNL to Dane Cook.

He survived being a life-size dress up doll for two Barbie crazed sisters. Though you'd think that old pics of him in tu-tus would make him cringe, today he just laughs and says he remembers. He's still my baby and it doesn't bother him at all when I ask him to come and cuddle with me for a minute. He obliges me. Last night, he sat on his dad and crushed him with a goodnight hug. Tough guy on the ice, or in the pool, or surfing with me, he can still show amazing affection without batting an eye.

Now that he's in high school, his sisters tell me that I need to keep an eye on him. Not because he's out of line, but because the phone doesn't EVER stop ringing with all the girls that call. Caris says when she sees him on campus, he's usually surrounded by them. She worries he'll get hurt. The sister who likes to punch him and call him "pussy" is now worried he'll get his heart broken by female groupies. How the tides have turned.

Last week, during campus visits by college admissions counselors, a teacher asked the freshmen students; "If you could bring just ONE thing from your kitchen at home to college with you, what would it be." There were 15 "refrigerators" and 20 "microwaves", a "can opener" here and there, and "a case of cup o noodles". His teacher called to tell me that Bry's answer was the one that stood out to her and made her smile; "my mom".

Yeah, it'll be hard to be replaced someday. But I still have all these great memories to cherish, and I know many more will be made with this kid. He is, and always will be my "ten-four, good buddy". Happy Birthday Grommet. I love you.


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