Mar 7, 2009

18 years

Today is Skylers 18th birthday. I tried several times to come up with something special for a post, something that would be poetic and deep. Alas, I am neither poetic or deep. So what you will have to sit though is a photographic journey through the years.

So grab something good to drink, sit back and relax, and please - no wagering.

Our story starts with a premature birth. Kathy's water broke at 24 weeks, 3 months early. Skyler was born at 1 pound 15 ounces. Somewhere in utero or at the emergency C-Section delivery, he had a brain hemmorage. This is what caused his Cerebral Palsy. He would spend 3 months in the Neonatal Intensive care Unit (NICU) and come home at 5 pounds, just a few days after his original due date.

Rambo and Aspen weren't quite sure what to make of the new addition to the family.

Even at 3 months, he was still quite small.

This is our first trip away from home to a cabin at grand lake.

Skyler spent a couple of years doing Hippotherapy (riding on horseback) until he needed surgery on his hips. It became too painful for him to keep riding.

Through the years, there have been struggles with school, and great accomplishments at school. Teachers were always apprehensive about having him in their class, but for the most part they found that the classroom was a more forgiving, better place than it might have been otherwise. They learned from Skyler as much as he learned from them.

There have been friends along the way, but too few. Some have come and gone, others have been with him the whole time. You have to be strong in your own skin to be Skylers friend when your other friends are growing up and drifting away. It isn't always cool to be friends with the special needs kid. My unending love and appreciation goes out to the ones who have stayed around.

There have been too many surgeries along the way to count, and you have been such a brave trooper through them all. My wish is for all of these to be over with, and for a long, healthy stretch.

Who would have thought you would have turned out to be a ski bum?

Or been in theater and talent shows!

You are also quite the hiker, bouncing along and never complaining.

Somewhere along the way, you decided that kid stuff wasn't for you. That's when you became a News junkie, going on tours, and stalking pretty women Meteorologists!

You are a swimmer, and a great running partner for me. I really should have kept track of the miles we did together over the years.

You won an award from the Mayor for overcoming great odds.

And you are a computer geek!

You have a lot of special people in your life that care about you a lot.

But mostly, you are a great kid, and my buddy. I love you so much Skyler, thank you for 18 great years!


  1. Happy Birthday Skyler. Great photos!

  2. for someone neither deep nor poetic that was pretty much of both -

    happy birthday skyler! - what joy you bring!

    sometimes not saying much in words, says it all in thoughts...

    (what a terrific collage!)

  3. That was beautiful! It brought tears to my eyes. Happy Birthday Skyler! You have a wonderful father.

  4. I need a tissue.

    Happy Birthday Skylar


  5. Great tribute and pics!

    And story.

  6. And Happy B-day from the blog world.

  7. Happy Birthday Skyler!!! And remember, don't vote republican!

    Beautiful post, S.D.!

  8. Happy birthday, dude! You have a great smile! I couldn't help but grin from ear to ear with you through this whole post.

  9. Ohhh, Sky Dad, how can you say you are neither deep nor poetic?! You are both, and wonderfully so! This was absolutely beautiful and so touching!! Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us. This is absolutely lovely! You have one truly spectacular son!!!!

    And to Skyler: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I hope you have a fantastic day!! :-)

  10. I am such a sucker...I got a big lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. A wonderful post, dad!

    Happy Birthday to Skyler!!! Quite a young man at 18-time certainly does fly.

    How lucky Skyler is to have such a great family to love, but you really are the lucky ones, to have Skyler, who fills your hearts with such joy every day.

  11. Skyler, you've grown up so fast. I really enjoyed seeing the pictures. I'm having another baby in a week. Baby Faith. Say hello to your parents for me. You really are blessed to have such a wonderful family, and so am I!Angie Austin
    News2 - Denver (I'm using my husbands account.)

  12. Yes, that even brought tears to the eyes of this heartless wench. What a beautiful tribute.

    Happy Birthday, Skyler!!

  13. Happy Birthday Skyler.

  14. This was so beautiful. What a lucky boy Skyler is to have such a loving family. Happy Birthday to you, Skyler!

  15. As for your poetry, Walt Whitman couldn't have done better, and I think it is very wrong of you to mislead your readers about your depth.

    You have more depth left over than most folks start out with. You have worked hard and loved hard to raise a son, and now that son is a man. This is a momentous occasion for you both! I hope all the birthday wishes come true!


  16. Happy Birthday Skyler!

  17. Not poetic my ass! (I bring the class to the party, fyi.)

    Great post, great pics. 18 is such a big marker!!

    Happy Birthday Skyler!!

  18. Anonymous3:16 PM

    Any dad who keeps a blog is a poet in my estimation. I would like to see my husband keep one. LOL What a great kid you are Skyler. Happy Birthday.

  19. Anonymous6:38 PM

    Every kid should have a dad like you.
    Happy birthday Skyler

  20. Wow, although I missed it by a day HAPPY BIRTHDAY SKYLER! You guys are so lucky to have each other!

  21. i have tears in my eyes as i looked through your pictures. i could feel the warmth of everyone's love for skyler. god bless him and keep him healthy.


  22. Ha I always say it... Just when I think i'm having a bad day I come to your page.

    :) Skyler's a sweety. Happy Birthday Guy. I'll plug ya on my page. :D

  23. Anonymous9:27 AM

    Happy Belated Birthday, Skyler. You have the best dad ever.

  24. Happy birthday, Skyler!

  25. Now being a legal adult, I assume he is open for recruitment as an Evil Minion.

  26. Happy Belated Birthday to Skyler.

  27. Uh oh-- he's legal!! :)

    fantastic, these pix. You KNOW what makes this post-- his smile. That boy has a smile that can melt a chocolate bar at 30 paces. I wish I could fly out there and hang widcha, but I'm not allowed to eat birthday cake anymore...


  28. Happy Birthday to Skyler, and an early Happy Father's Day to the best father I know.

  29. And you are deeper and more poetic than you know.

  30. Sorry to arrive so late to the b'day party -- Happy Birthday Skyler!

    Awesome photos.

    And what a cute kid!!

  31. HAppy Birthday Skyler

    love all the photos...

  32. Ah man... look at all the great times in these photos. It's so hard to believe he's 18.

    Happy Birthday Skyler!

  33. Trish2:20 PM

    I second, third and fourth what everyone has said. Chris, this is a wonderful photo collage and a great way to celebrate Skyler's life and spirit. Skyler is indeed lucky to have a dad (and mom) like you and Kathy -- Trish

  34. i need tissues! that's awesome ... sorry i missed the big day ... was there cake and ice cream?! chocolate? ... lol!! ... happy happy birthday skyler!!

  35. I'm arriving very late to the party, but I wanted to wish Skyler a happy belated birthday -- what a life he's led so far! The pics are fantastic!

  36. Great pictures! Happy b-day, Skyler!

  37. Happy Birthday, Sky!

  38. More tears in the eyes here. I hope your birthday was wonderful, Skyler!

  39. Misty over here. How lovely. Skler is lucky to have a dad like you and be so loved and adored. I hope he had a great birthday.