This Year in Kyle

One of my favorite things about being married to Kyle is that he is hilarious.  Sometimes he means to be and sometimes…he just is.  On the day of his birth, I want to share a little of my joy with the world.  Please join me in celebrating another edition of this year in Kyle.

He says funny things.

Take these quotes for instance (Evernote is a great tool for capturing these gems on the go).

  1. To a concierge who’d asked what kind of food we like so he could give a better restaurant recommendation:  “ We like soup, protein, and Italian food.”
  2. About a Prince song that was playing in a restaurant: “What is that song he sings, ‘Bark like a Dove’?”
  3. “Do you agree with [this lyric] from Death Cab for Cootie?”
  4. While wiping the sweat from his brow during a game, “People don’t think Ping Pong is a workout but it is.”
  5. And speaking of Ping Pong, “It’s hard to imagine something more fun than tackling another guy.  I mean ping pong is fun, climbing mountains is great, but tackling…”
  6. While browsing Netflix instant play, “Nicolas Cage [a favorite actor of his at one point] sure has a lot of one-stars.”
  7. After losing a competition in a made up game that involved racing astride pool noodles, “At least I rode my seahorse with integrity.”

And strange, semi-harmful things happen to him with greater frequency than they do to you or me.

Take, for example, a day last summer when he still worked on South Congress.  It was not long after the Subway slapping incident I’m sure you all remember from last year.  He was again walking on the sidewalk, again minding his own business when a segway came screaming around a corner and smashed into him.  Instantly, Kyle was down as the segway driver fell one way and the segway fell another.  Kyle lay on the concrete gazing at the sky and pondering the nature of his life.  Real life Arrested Development.

Then there was the time that he was at the mission house a few weeks ago.  Clean up and rebuilding has finally begun (Thank God!).  He was there after dark taking care of some paper work and organization.  He decided to take a break to have a run in our old neighborhood.  A run in the dark might sound like a questionable idea to some…but not to our hero.  After a refreshing jog, he pelted down the driveway and began sprinting toward the mission house.  He quickly realized two things.  One, the workmen had moved the picnic table that day.  Two, that table was sure hard to see in the dark.  Again, he found himself bruised and knocked flat as he gazed at the sky (filled with stars this time).  And, who knows, maybe he saw a few more circling his head along with a cartoon bird or two.

Lest you think this kind of thing is a recent development, consider these stories from the past. 

Kyle has always overflowed with energy.  His “I have restless legs syndrome” t-shirt is very apt.  When he was young enough to still be in a crib but old enough to pull himself up on the side, he realized that if he held on he could jump a lot higher than if he wasn’t grasping the side.  His parents remember his legs flying up higher than the top of the crib when they peeked in during his “nap.”  He broke the crib multiple times and his dad kept repairing it.  Finally, he reinforced the base to the best of his ability.  He–an adult male–got inside and jumped up and down to confirm it was unbreakable.  But it wasn’t.  Kyle had broken it again within the week.  His grandparents refused to babysit him when he was small not because they didn’t love spending time with him but because they were terrified he’d end up getting hurt when their backs were turned.

A favorite memory of Kyle’s (other than tackling during high school football games, of course) is living near a grape orchard in Bentonville, Arkansas during elementary school.  He remembers seeing Sam Walton pull up to the local Dairy Queen in his old beat up truck.  Kyle and his pals Virgil Oliver and Hank Williams (their real names) loved to gather mushy overripe grapes and throw them at passing cars from their hiding place in the bushes.  It was great fun seeing the cars get pelted and the occasional person who stopped harmlessly berated their unseen attackers.  Until one day.  A car drove past with its windows down.   The boys threw their handfuls of grapes.  Fruit splattered satisfyingly on the interior of the car and the driver himself.  Who promptly screeched to a stop and jumped out.  The boys realized they were in trouble and started running.  He was too fast for them.  He caught up with them and marched them to their respective homes to tell their parents what they’d been up to.  Probably grabbed them by their collars.  People did that kind of thing back then.

His love of justice sometimes puts him in interesting situations.

Kyle never hesitates to defend when he senses someone is endangering or mistreating others.  He’s the kind of guy you want on your team; the kind of guy you’d want by your side if you had to go into battle.

And he’s not opposed to sort of streeetchinggg the truth if it means he can put a bad guy in his place.  Here’s what I mean.  We were driving home to East Texas for one holiday or another some years ago.  As we slowed to match the reduced speed limit of yet another small town, we caught up with a car that was weaving badly.  Finally, the driver swerved off the main road and put his car in park near an old building.  Thank goodness, Torey and I thought.  But Kyle needed to investigate.  He pulled in beside the car and hopped out as I protested.  We heard him tell the intoxicated driver, ‘I’m an off-duty police officer and it appears that you have been drinking.’  The result of the ensuing dialogue with the drunken man was that he promised to sleep it off in his car, surrendered his alcohol to Kyle for him to discard, and put his keys in his glovebox.  Chagrined, he apologized profusely to Kyle.  I mean, come on, he didn’t want to get arrested.

This may surprise you but Kyle is actually quite a dancer.

[Disclaimer:  The reason that I am laughing off-camera instead of in the dancing circle is that I am a punk.  Just before they invited the audience to join them in this dance, I’d been talking about how charming the older white haired woman was and how I wanted to be like her when I was her age.  When I was 75, I told them, I was definitely going to have a dance recital.  No sooner were those words out of my mouth than they were inviting people to come dance with them.  At which point I completely chickened out.  I’m shy, man.  (That’s why I have to wait until I’m 75 to have the recital.)  So, Kyle jumped in trying to make me feel comfortable to join in the dance.  But I didn’t…I just watched and videoed and laughed at him.  Like I said, I’m a punk.  But the world is a better place because if I’d joined the dance, this video wouldn’t exist.]

Happy birthday, Kyle!  I’m glad I’m married to you.

{If this has reminded you of a favorite Kyle story, post it in the comments or send him an email or text wishing him happy birthday!}

Want more?  Click here to read last year’s blog:


5 thoughts on “This Year in Kyle

  1. Kyle is a good boy! In my world, being about half crazy is normal and healthy, God bless you Kyle!


  2. Fabulous! Thanks for sharing. Personally one of my favorite moments in Belgium is when I get a out of the blue phone call from Kyle and the conversation ended with “sorry I have to go be a lobster now”. It was brilliant 🙂

  3. Loved this and the video! I loved that it was women, little girls and KYLE dancing! Awesome. Love and miss that sweet guy. Look forward to seeing you guys in September, God-willing.

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