What is a monkeybox?

When I was a little girl, we had a pet monkey named Amanda. My Dad worked in the produce business, so each night he brought home that days culls in a big box - spotty cucumbers, pithy apples, limp celery, moldy oranges and the like. We called it a monkeybox. It was really just trash, but my Mom would take each piece of fruit and trim it, pare it and cut it up to make a beautiful fruit platter for Amanda. Even though it was deemed trash by one, it still had life left in it and was good for the purpose we needed it. That's how I live my life - thrifting, yard saling, looking for another's trash to be my treasure.

Friday, September 06, 2013

To The Bean,

18 years.  How can it be?

I remember you on your blanket on the floor and you were on your stomach when I left the room and on your back when I returned.  I yelled at dad and told him NOT to put you on your back.  He said, "I didn't turn him over!"  So, we hid in the kitchen and watched you as you wriggled your way back over to our tummy again.  Then to your back.  Then to your tummy again.  That's the day that we realized you were growing up and changing and going to be on the GO from that moment on.

And, grow you did.

When you were born, due to the heavy amounts of medication they gave me to keep my blood pressure down (and from, we were told later, nearly dying) you were sluggish and dopey at first.  Your arms and legs were like lead weights and if you skipped a breath oh well, you didn't care.  They whisked you away from me for almost twelve hours before they let me even see you again.  Now I know better - I should have stood up and said, 'BRING ME MY BABY NOW!"  They sent me home five days before they let you go home.  I found myself in an empty house without my baby.  I was a mess.  When they finally agreed to let you go home, the put you on an Apnea Monitor to monitor your breathing.  If you were to ever stop breathing, the monitor would have gone off with a Screeeech to awake us so we could have called 9-11 or start to administer CPR.  But in the entire year you wore that monitor, it only went off one time.  And when we got to your crib, you were sitting up, holding the probes that attached to your chest and grinning ear to ear.  You were fine.  Mom and Dad, however, needed a drink.

Your first day of Kindergarten was the first time you had ever been away from Mom.  Oh, you had been with your Grandma Baw, but never to preschool or to a babysitter.  That first day of Kindergarten was so hard on you.  And even harder on me.  When you came home, you were sobbing and you asked, "When....can...I..stay...home...with...you...again...forever?"  Broke. My. Heart.  Even though it was hard on you, you went back to school.  You made friends - in fact everyone loved you because you were so very shy and quiet.  The kids watched out for you and never let anyone pick on you.  They knew you would speak when spoken to, but you weren't going to start any conversations.  You teachers loved you.  You won all the awards for being courteous, for projects, for being a great overall kid.  Once, a teacher that didn';t know you hurt your feelings and made you cry.  The entire class told your regular teacher what happened. When she apologized to me, she had tears in her eyes.  "No one hurts Christopher's feelings.  No one!"  Elementary School was great. 

Middle School was not.

When you asked me that question in Kindergarten about staying home with me again forever, I never would have guessed the answer was 6th grade.  But it was.  We began our adventure together again.  There are things I should have done better and things I did great.  But, the one thing I do know is that you are one great kid.  One great person.  One great man.  You are kind to a fault.  You are smart.  So very smart.  You still only speak when spoken to and you aren't going to start up any conversations on your own.  You have helped me through tough times and I hope I have helped you.  I don't know if Mom's and sons are supposed to be as close as you and me, but they really should be.  You are a joy to me and I love you more than you will ever know.  

Happy Birthday.  


  1. Happy birthday to your son the years slip by so fast next Friday my daughter will be 30 now how did that happen?

  2. Sending birthday wishes to the Bean! I hope you have a great day!

  3. Hapde Burfday to the not a baby anymore Bean. Your whole life stretches ahead of you now kiddo, whatcha gonna do? :-)

  4. I only know C from your blog posts and emails but I assure you, he's one young man I would find it a pleasure to meet! Happy Birthday Christopher! May this year bring you adventures and happiness!

  5. Happy Birthday to your Bean! As the Mom to a 14 YO boy, I am not embarrassed to say that your post made me tear up. So thankful for good sons:)

  6. Bithday wishes to the Bean..I feel like I have watched him grow up a bit and have been part of his life. Give that kid a birthday hug from me...you have every right to be proud of that kid.

  7. Happy Birthday, Bean! Shara, you and your husband have raised a Treasure in that young man. I know he's priceless to you and to everyone he knows. He may be an adult, but he will always be your little boy. Even when he's old & grey!

  8. Happy Birthday, Bean!

  9. Happy B-Day Bean! Have a great year as special as you are!

    Be well and happy :)

  10. Um, sobbing here. Sweetest letter ever for the sweetest boy ever. Happy Birthday, Bean, hope it was the bees knees.

  11. Awww... how sweet! Happy Birthday Bean!!!

  12. Shara, that was beautiful! I hope Christopher had a wonderful 18th birthday, and I hope he has a long and prosperous future ahead of him!


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