By Pure Design

On this day, 36 years ago, this dear one was bought into the world. He had flawless skin. His face looked like creamy velvet. He had sweet cupid’s bow lips. And a bit of a furrowed brow. I think Christopher may have been born with the knowledge that he would have to try to improve the world with good design. Sigh.

After staring at his lovely face, I noticed his hands and fingers. His nails and nail beds looked like his daddy’s. They were perfectly shaped and his fingers looked strong. These fingers would one day learn to play his beloved Martin guitar with strength and gentleness; the best way.

Christopher was a bit of a mischievous child. He was always trying to figure things out. For a short time we lived in an apartment that had a trash compactor. That was somewhat high-tech in the mid-80s. I used to take my wedding rings off while I did the dishes. One evening I couldn’t find them. I came to discover that Christopher had put them into the compactor to see if it could crush something as hard as gold. 

Another time I found Christopher tossing various things into the toilet; toys, brushes, combs, whatever was lying around, to see if it would flush these items efficiently. 

He loved Matchbox cars. For a while, he went though a phase of carrying around just three or four select cars in a Little Playmate cooler. This was quite clunky for a three year-old to tote and of course, more cars would have fit in there. He was obviously very selective about what he wanted. They must have been BMWs. 

He would also spend hours lining them up perfectly, as if they were in a parking lot. Sometimes he did this while crouched on the floor, his eyes level with the seat of a chair. I think he was configuring how many would fit before they began to fall off the edge. 

It is no surprise that Christopher grew up to be an excellent designer. 

When he was in grade school he would come home seeming tired or disheartened. When I asked about his day he would tell me that other kids were always asking him to draw them a truck or a car or a baseball player…he was tired of freelancing.

Later, in high school, I nearly got into a shouting match with a teacher who did not believe Christopher had completed the art assignment himself. He could not believe that Christopher was capable of such excellent work at a young age.

Outside of his talents and accomplished skills, Christopher has a beautiful heart. He has a kind heart. He is even-tempered and brings a sense of peace to diffuse situations that could get fiery in a moment.

He has a heart for justice. I see that in all three of my boys. They want to right the wrong. I love that.

Christopher has great interest in bringing our city to truth about things that have not always been brought into that light. He has been and will continue to be involved in understanding racial injustice and finding solutions.

And he loves. He loves with his whole being. If you are in his circle of friends, you are blessed indeed. He treasures meaningful relationships.

This day, 36 years ago, a sweet and bright beacon was placed into my arms. He has been helping to point the way since then and his compass is always leading him toward an adventurous journey of teaching and learning and teaching and learning.

Happy Birthday to my warm and beautiful middle son. You are deeply loved by all.