Brother's mistake produces joy
for one happy uncle
By Chris Williams
September 20, 2006 | Sometimes the biggest of mistakes
lead to more joy than things we plan. His name is Tyson
and he's the bucket-assed son of my brother.
He wasn't a mistake as in unplanned -- more like his
ex-stripper mother and failure-addicted father should
have realized their marriage wasn't going to last. They
shouldn't have even dated, if that's what you call biweekly
drives to Wienerschnitzel for chili cheese dogs. They
should have seen each other's faults, but they didn't.
My brother was a sonar technician on a US Navy submarine.
You know that guy in naval war movies that starts every
sentence with "Con, Sonar..."? Well, that overachiever
was my brother. Pretty impressive for someone who never
gave two shits about high school. He cared more about
getting "air" on his Honda CR-250 than of getting C's
in classes like ceramics, English, or math.
She worked in the clothing department of Mervyn's.
That's an upgrade from her previous position. Her name
was Cinnamon. Was. Now it's Chantle. Whatever name you
like, she's horrible with money. When two credit cards
max out, it's a warning sign you're living beyond your
means. Not to her. Two maxes just meant she needed a
third plastic rectangle for her new black leather sofa.
She got that card personalized, a bonus excuse to pull
it out of her Louis Vuitton handbag. That stylish purse
wasn't her picking; she doesn't have that level of taste
or class. She noticed the higher-end clients in her
store tended to own them. Monkey see, monkey do. Cinnamon
saw, so Cinnamon spent. At least she's observant.
There are always warning signs when a marriage is
destined for failure, and I don't mean superficial things
like a bad wedding song or abusive past relationships.
My brother and his trophy bride (God, I'm funny!) went
all out to curse their marriage. When they tied the
knot, these two love birds decided it was best to keep
it a secret and have the Vegas-style ceremony in Washington
state. After swearing my oldest brother and me to secrecy
we were told of their plans, but no parents knew for
five month. I suppose it was an easier way to doom the
marriage than renting a black cat, walking under a stolen
ladder, or breaking a mirror borrowed from Southern
Exposure. I think if you have to hide your marriage
from your parents, something is severely wrong with
either your marriage or your parents. When your wife's
name used to be Cinnamon, it's probably not the latter.
This is the situation they brought Tyson into two
years ago. Don't worry though, the last time a child
was born into a situation this ridiculous, Tom Cruise
and Katie Holmes put her on the cover of Vanity Fair.
Suri Cruise doesn't have a chance, but Tyson has survived.
It's incredible what stands out in my mind while reminiscing
about Tyson. His mother and father fade from thought
and all I can see is his finger pointing to the sky
every time a Delta 737-400 flies overhead. All I hear
is his innocent voice proclaiming "Air-pane!" I forget
how he must have witnessed countless fights between
his parents. Instead, I think of how he loves being
pulled in his red Radio Flyer wagon, the one with giant
wheels for off-roading. He loves being pulled fast,
and the best way to get a smile is to aim for the biggest
bumps and deepest potholes.
Tyson never wakes up cranky and the kid eats anything.
He even smiles during diaper changes. He keeps his hands
in the air until the baby powder goes on, then slaps
down to make a Johnson & Johnson dust cloud. Basically,
he's an absolute joy to be around.
My brother never should've dated Cinnamon or married
Chantle, but otherwise his greatest contribution to
society wouldn't exist. Sometimes mammoth mistakes create
the greatest rewards.