Sunday, June 1, 2008

Happy Birthday, Rob!

On June 1, 1967 my life changed, although I was probably unaware exactly of what was going on. I do recall that my grandmother came to stay and when I had a nightmare she and my dad both got up to check on me, and my mom was Otherwise Occupied. Hmmm. There are pictures of me rocking Rob when he is brand new, he laying across my lap, me covered in band aids sitting in the mission style rocker we had. Not sure where that photo is.

There is some story about me dropping Rob that I don't lend much credence to, probably it is propaganda spread by Rob once he could talk. But this is not about me, it's about Rob, who turns --do the math folks--41, forty-one, xxxxi. Yep, that's right. The little whippersnapper below has attained an age of gravitas, of responsibility, of maturity.

Join me for some Rob stories, won't you?

Okay - look at the face above. Angelic, right? I mean, it's not his fault some adult gave him a combover.

Once I had a coloring book and Rob wanted to color in it. We are four years apart, meaning I had mastered (just) staying in the lines, and Rob, well, Rob didn't really do lines at that point. Still doesn't, come to think of it. Anyway, I said no, and lay down on the floor to color. That sweet faced little cherub went around the house, slipped up behind me and bit my back, so hard his teeth met and I had to have a tetanus shot. Trauma of injury and agony of a shot. I do NOT recall Rob getting any sort of punishment. Typical.

Excuse me while a take a moment to collect myself. Have I mentioned my deep loathing of needles?

Ok, next up, the clock: the grandparents hung a clock on the brick fireplace that was painted once they enclosed the den (which was miniscule and boasted an antique potty concealed in a wooden cabinet). It was square and turned on it's side so it was a diamond shape. It was battery powered. One day when an adult noticed the clock was not running, they retrieved a replacement battery and took the clock down, only to find that the guts of the clock were held in place by tape, and were in no sort of functional order. Our little angel had taken the clock apart to figure out how it worked and taped everything back together and hung the clock up to avoid censure. Was this a sign of things to come?

A few years later, Rob had friends over and they were taking turns riding down our hill and up a bank on the alley to jump something on that bank, I think it was some sort of meter. Anyway, Rob crashed. He walked back to the house, spoke to no one and went to bed. I can't recall what happened to his friends - did they go home? Who knows? Turns out he had a concussion.

Rob did get pretty good at grilling chicken one year, I think he was around 9 or 10, and was entered in some sort of competition. The grandparents got him ready, took him to the shady spot by Troy's Lake Lagoon near the Troy State campus and got him unloaded. Rob set about loading the charcoal (is that what one does?), putting some, but not too much, lighter fluid on, and getting his fire started. Oh. Did I mention that my grandmother, thrifty soul she was, bought a new bag of charcoal just for the event, and instead of buying Kingsford, bought Piggly Wiggly's cheapest for the contest? Yes indeedy, folks. There sat young Rob, eagerly waiting for his charcoal to get hot, thwarted by saving what could only have been 75 cents. Rob didn't win, didn't even really get the chicken hot that I remember. Poor Rob. And yet he's risen from the ashes, as it were, to go on to grill for his family. On a gas grill.

Would you like to take a visual walk down memory lane? Good. Step lively, now.

Here's Rob around 1 1/2, smartly outfitted in a corduroy and stripes, complete with hat. I'm on the left, and don't I look smartly turned out? Oh, but you wanted to see Rob. Coming right up.

In this one, Rob must be around 4 or 5, and is sitting on a ball on the sofa. Note the boots, and the Auburn cap. Rob, for a few dollars, I can make this one go away. Forever.

Here's a charming sibling portrait. Dawn on the left, Rob in the middle and me on the right. Rob has entered his "I don't want my picture taken" phase.

Jumping way ahead, here's Rob and Mother just after Brooks was born. I remember that very well, Rob was so proud! Just as he's been at the births of Eli, Audrey and Metz. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Rob and his bride Carrie have 4 wonderful, beautiful, brilliant, wacky, fun children. You'll have to ask Carrie if Rob really changes diapers or not.

Well folks, I hope you have enjoyed reminiscing with me. There are tales and photos of Rob that I still have up my sleeve, for whenever I feel things need a little livening up. Rob, do you recall the lizard photo? Be afraid, be very afraid.

But for now, I leave you with this snapshot - I think it captures Rob's essential core:

Happy birthday, Rob! I love you.

1 comment:

  1. Reading these stories makes me think that maybe Eli is more like Rob than we think! Very cute post.



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