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Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy Birthday to My Little Braveheart

 
Kyle Walker,
 
When you were four I bought you a Hanes batman undershirt. When I was growing up we called these t-shirts without sleeves, "muscle shirts", so when I presented you with your new muscle shirt you took it very literally . . .very.  I found you under a chair. You were sure you could pick it up with your newly acquired muscles. You went on to test your strength by picking up everything you could find, including your very chubby baby brother. I am not surprised by this, of course, because to this day you prove the Mark Twain quote:
 
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog"

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
In your sports adventures over the years, you have earned a number of nicknames. Your baseball coaches call you Little Thunder, a nickname you actually earned from some much older boys with whom you played a game of pick-up football in Texas. They couldn't catch you as you sprinted down the sideline. You were seven. One of your basketball coaches called you Swaggalicious. Basketball players apparently need some swagger. You've got just enough to prove that although you are most often the smallest on the court, you most certainly belong there. You have been described by a coach as "the straw that stirs our drink - the heart and soul of our team." (shameless bragging momma alert . . .ahem)
 
You definitely pulled from my gene pool in the stature department though someday you could certainly pass us all up. But this I know for sure: only God can be credited with the content of your sweet, courageous heart. If we measured you by the size of your compassion, your character, your moxie? You tower over many, my little man.

We watch you throw yourself around on the basketball court, spending as much time flinging your little body to the ground as you do buzzing like a mosquito around players twice your size. We watch you run to first base so hard that your helmet flies off.   Many times you've willed your body so far forward that you end up doing a few somersaults past the base. You give everything you have. You leave nothing on the bench and fortunately, or unfortunately, you wear everything on your face. Your coaches plead for a "poker face". It ain't happening. You don't mask your emotions well. And that, kiddo, comes from your momma. We don't keep our feelings in very well. We aren't at all adept at hiding them. But I don't have to tell you that because that brings me to one of my favorite parts about you.

You know me well. I can try to hide when I am worried or when I am sad. I will say I am fine. But, you aren't buying it. You are the one who has my number and you are the one who will call me out.

 "Come on, Mom. Just tell me. Who are you worried about? Why are you sad?  Who are you missing?  Will you just tell me already?"
 
You, my sweet boy, are always correct. I kept the following note that you wrote when I was sick once.  You weren't older than five or six.  I found it near my pillow with the arrow pointing to your favorite stuffed animal that you had given up for the night for me.
 
 
You came to us on our 6th wedding anniversary, a day full of love, so I suppose we should not have been surprised by your big heart.
 
You love deeply. You feel intensely. You bless immeasurably.  Your heart, my boy.  Your heart makes you a giant. 

Happy 12th Birthday to you, Kyle Walker Skinner.
 


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are a giant among friends too Kyle! The Carolines love you in GIANT amounts. We are all so glad that you are a part of our lives in so many ways. Even Hayley loves you and she's a little like that Mikey kid from the old Life cereal commercial...your mom and dad can explain that one to you. Happy Birthday Thunder!!!!

Jenn said...

Mrs. C! Thunder adores the Carolines, too, including Mikey! LOVE Y'all - have a great day!