Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Happy Birthday, Chris!

Today is my son-in-law, Chris Tidd's, 39th birthday.  He is such a wonderful man and the best son-in-law anyone could hope to have. 

Every year (make that every day!) I wish I could properly show how much he means to me. This year, I decided to give him a "gift from the heart" for his birthday, rather than the traditional Amazon-wish-list-item.

The Card

First, I thought:  I'll make him a special card by taking an Art of Data class! With the proper training, I was hopeful that I could create a unique and meaningful card.

Uh... That didn't happen. The card turned out so badly it was worse than anything I ever made in elementary school.  My art skills have actually digressed. Two of the "candles" fell off (and disappeared) before I ever gave it to him. It was very embarrassing to even give it to him, but I did want him to know that I at least tried to make him a card.  I gave it to him when no one else was around, hoping that he would immediately throw it away so that no one else would see it, but when I was at his house a few days later, I saw he still had it.  Chris: Please destroy the card! Also, art lessons for me would be a welcome gift from you!

The Poem

OK, How about a poem instead?  My poems are also on the level of an elementary school child, but I am a little better with words than I am with art, so here's my poem for Chris:

My son-in-law, Chris, has a birthday today

So this poem is to honor him - Hip, hip, hooray!

Chris can grow anything, make anything, too

Take anything old, and make it look new.

Transforms discarded trash into artistic treasure

His talents are vast, way beyond measure.

But what I appreciate most, even more than his art

Is that Chris always acts with a giant-sized heart.

In his eyes you can see hints of mischief and humor

Playful with all, whether baby or Boomer.

He’s generous, creative, funny, and kind

He’s better than all the great heroes combined.

Teacher, husband, father, brother, and son

Learner, leader, and friend, all rolled into one.

I’m so grateful to have Chris in my life

So happy he made my daughter his wife.

So much more I could say, but I’ll leave it at this

These words say it all: I love you, Chris.

The Movie

A little hobby of mine is to use iMovie to create videos slideshows for people.  For my 60-until-60 project, I asked people to pick a favorite song that could be used as the background music for their movie and Chris picked a song and group I'd never heard of,  Concept 1 by Kodomo.  I've been experimenting with rewriting lyrics to the songs. (For example, I did this in my last blog post rewriting the lyrics of Happy, for my daughter-in-law, Stella.)

However, Concept 1 does not have lyrics, so.. I just created a new movie with photos and a movie featuring Chris:

My Gratitude

Finally, I'll just write 10 things (in no particular order) that I love about Chris and why I'm so grateful and proud to have him as part of our family. 

1) He treats me like another mother. I've known Chris since he was a teenager and even as a kid, he treated me with respect and kindness. I know he has a very loving mother who he's very close to and he has so much love from so many people, so he certainly doesn't need another mother. Even so, his thoughtfulness towards me and inclusiveness in family gatherings has always made me feel loved by him. I love him as though he were my own son. 

2) He's an amazing husband to my daughter. I see how well Megan and Chris have grown together over the years, complementing (and complimenting) one another, celebrating their monthly Anniversary on the 23rd of each month as well as their yearly trip each May. 

3) He's an outstanding father to my grandchildren.  Lovingly playful while also providing parental wisdom and guidance in all his interactions. Even all the "chore charts" he makes for the kids are colorful and fun.

4) He's artistic. As I just mentioned, even Chris's chore charts look artsy! Everything he creates is done with such talent. He's painted some beautiful works of art, one of which I have hanging above my fireplace, and several that have been on display at art shows in Denver.  He has such amazing talent!

5) He has such a great sense of humor. This skill of Chris's is one I think we all wish we had. He's so naturally funny in an easy-going, playful way.  I remember a family dinner we invited him to when he was dating Megan.  I was serving green beans from the garden and they tasted a little tough and I said something about them maybe being "old."  Chris made a joke, and I can't remember exactly what he said now, something like, "Well, I'm 18 myself, and very mature." But whatever it was, I remember laughing hard, thinking it was so funny! His delivery was just so spot on!  He has since performed as a stand-up comic at open-mic nights and even roasted me at my 50th birthday party. I was so honored that he volunteered!

6) He's a talented woodworker. From the incredible tree-house in their backyard, to the dog-house (that looks like a people house!) to the tiny house they are now building on their mountain property, Chris (partnering with Megan who also has amazing architecture and artistic skills) have created masterpieces! I was especially touched by the bedside table that Chris made for me in an afternoon we spent together as one of my 60-until-60 1:1 celebrations.

7) He's an incredible landscape artist and gardener. It makes sense that someone who's as artistic as Chris would be talented at landscape design and gardening, but I'm in awe.  Every time I'm over at their house, I see such a colorful array of flowers in bloom and serene sitting spots.  I remember reading "The Secret Garden" as a kid and the description of beauty as the garden was discovered. That's how I feel as I walk into their backyard garden.

8) Chris has such optimism, always seeing positivity in a situation.  Last year, Chris had an accident when he was working on his tiny house and severely sliced his right hand. This was a big deal! The doctors didn't know if he'd have full use of his hand again. But Chris didn't complain at all.  If anything, he downplayed the whole accident and said he was grateful for Megan and the kids for helping him carry on with the work he wanted to do on the house. I don't think I've ever heard him feel sorry for himself or play the victim. 

9) Chris gets excited about even the smallest things. I noticed at Christmas that no matter what gift Chris opened, he genuinely seemed super-psyched about the gift. Once one of my kids gave him a broken trumpet (I think..  It's hard for me to remember because, to me, it just looked like a piece of junk.) But Chris was so excited about it! (Note: This habit of Chris's to get excited about any gift, may not be as strong as it used to be. I do not notice the same level of enthusiasm over my Dollar Tree finds...)

10) Chris is kind. Not just when-people-are-watching-kind...  genuinely kind. He's helped me with my ALS fundraisers, he's checked on me when I've had health issues, he's cared and participated in my projects and parties.  He is such a thoughtful, caring, compassionate, and good man. I have so much admiration and love for him and so grateful that he is in our lives.

BlueMountain eCard

Oh, and one more! Here's a personalized eCard! (I think these cards are so cool!)

So there you have it, Chris..  My gifts from the heart!  Next year I'll go back to the Amazon Wish List (maybe with a few Dollar Tree goodies on the side!)