I have the most amazing human in my life. God created him just for me. He turns twenty-two today. His whole life has been a blessing for me. If you don’t know my Kyler, you don’t know what you are missing.
Kyler was born during a trying time in my life. His dad and I were separated. I had three other children and I was going to college full-time. God sent me this angel for so many reasons. He pulled our family back together. He changed my faith in God. Kyler was a gift.
When he was born, Kyler had serious medical issues. Frankly, there were times when I thought we wouldn’t have him very long. For the first time, I reached out to God in a different way. My desperation was so enormous. My prayer warrior at that time was my Aunt Lyla. She called me every day at the hospital and prayed with me. I would be so down. My hormones were crazy, my husband and I were separated and my baby wasn’t going to live. I had my mind made up. I just knew he was going to be taken from me. Aunt Lyla wasn’t having any of that. She talked me through it all and prayed for all of us. Kyler’s issues stopped as suddenly as they had begun. He began to get better and thrive and in no time, we were going home. I learned the power of prayer during that time. I learned that prayer warriors are essential and I learned that forgiveness crucial.
After we brought Kyler home, we spoiled him rotten. We were all afraid he would get sick again and we treated him like he was the most fragile of souls. He didn’t make a sound before three other children and I were on top of him seeing what this sweet baby needed. Kendall was the most enamoured of him. He loved Kyler from the moment he laid eyes on him. He would sit and hold Kyler and watch every blip on the monitor that Kyler wore. He played with him and fed him and was selfish with his time with him. I often had to tell Kendall that I was his MOM and I would be just fine handling him alone. Unfortunately, all this attention went straight to Kyler’s head. He was spoiled rotten in no time.
As the kids got older, Kyler became the boss. We didn’t like it. We tried to dissuade it. However, none of us could stand to see him cry. Well, none of us except Kade. Although Kade was the older brother, Kyler bossed him around incessantly. Our children always slept with us. We had a king size bed and we just all piled in. There were many times that Kyler would throw a fit because Kade and Kennedy would be in bed with us. He wanted to be top dog. This did not include sharing me, my bed, the television. He would announce that it was time for the kids to go to bed, point his finger in the direction of their rooms and tell them to ‘git’. Then he would prop himself up on our big pillows, tell me to put Spongebob on and demand a bowl of Lays potato chips. Oh my, he was awful. And we all let him! We totally created this monster.
The three middle kids were my ‘stair-step kids’. Kendall and Belle are my bookends. Kendall was much older, Belle was much younger. The three in the middle were born in four years. There is exactly eighteen months and one day between Kyler and Kennedy. The three in the middle have always been a trio of chaos. They fought the most, loved the most, got in trouble the most. Kennedy was the innocent bystander that got lead into precarious situations out of her control. She trusted her brothers and was guileless in her participation in most of the calamities that befell her. They would cook something up and persuade her to join in. A lot of times, they tried to blame her for things she didn’t even really know were happening. Luckily, I was an ornery kid too, so I knew she was just being dragged into the predicaments they created. More often than not, she just stood there wide-eyed until the storm had passed. It’s funny to hear her talk about it now. She will tell how Kyler would dare her to say a curse word, he would keep after her until she would finally relent, then he would come and tell on her. The two of them kept Kade busy too. They would do anything to irritate Kade. Kade has always been particular about his belongings. He did not want them in his room. Not only would they sneak in there, they would get on his top bunk and get in his stuff and drive him crazy.
Kyler was also stubborn. He hated clothes. He was always in his underwear. People would actually come over when he was dressed and feign surprise at the fact that he even had clothing. He had a temper. He would get mad at Kade for something and would vow his revenge. He actually peed on one of Kade’s game systems one time because of some slight he perceived as war-like. Bill had the painting company and his crew came to the house every morning to start the work day. The boys did terrible things to these poor men. When it was hot, the guys would turn the hose on and get a cool drink while they were cleaning tools. These awful boys peed in the hose. They shot windows out of the truck on one employee. BB guns were not allowed after that. Kyler would go to work with Bill and when they stopped to pick up one of the employees, Kyler would tell them they had to sit in the back seat. He has always been the boss.
When all of the other kids started school, it was just Kyler and me. The kids went to a private school so we took them every morning. After we dropped them off, Kyler and I had breakfast. He always wanted Hardees or Cracker Barrel. Cracker Barrel has always been our spot. He wanted no guests to eat with us. This was our time. I miss that most of all I think.
For six years, Kyler was the baby. Several years, it was just the two of us. We spent all of our time together. He didn’t want to stay all night with Nana or friends. He just wanted to be at home with momma. Then the unthinkable happened. I got pregnant. We were going to have a new baby. Oh my goodness. The hysterics. When we told him we were having a new baby, without missing a beat and with a seriousness that was terrifying, he stated “I’m going to kill it.” Good grief. Fortunately, he got over all of that when he saw her, and when I assured him that he would always be the baby, even though he wasn’t the littlest any more. I put him in charge of diaper patrol and bottle gathering. He was full of pride at his resourcefulness and he loved her like she was his toy. He still does.
Kendall and Kyler were always close, but because of the closeness in age and the ability to get under each other’s skin, Kade and Kyler took a little longer to become good friends. When they did, they got into more orneriness!! They were fearless and their goal in life was to live up to the Soden name. Their grandfather and dad had left a legacy of being the ‘badass’ and they weren’t going to let that stop with them. As I look back now, I don’t know how any of us made it. On the plus side, I got to know a lot of nice policemen. Luckily, they grew out of all of that and they are good boys. They are also best friends. Their loyalty to each other and the other kids is so amazing to me. I don’t have a really close relationship to my brothers (I’m working on that). These kids love each other. They care about what is going on in each others lives. They love spending time together. The best times are Sundays when everyone comes. Every one of us cherish that.
Kyler picked out his girl early in life. He was fifteen, I think, when Kennedy told me that Kyler had a girlfriend. I met her and fell in love with her. I can remember thinking I hoped he kept her, but at their age, that probably wouldn’t last. It did. He’s never had another. There have been other girls when they have broken up. They lasted all of about ten minutes. None of them were Kate. I am forever thankful that this is who he chose for us. And in our family, you chose for us. We spend too much time together to choose someone who can’t adapt to our brand of crazy. She did. They have been together through everything. They have grown up together. They are a family now. They gave me my most precious gift, Karter. He is so loved. He’s the only grandbaby for us and the only nephew. We all dote on him. He has brought a ray of sunshine to all of us. I am grateful beyond measure that Kyler chose Kate and blessed me with Karter. They are a wonderful little family. I am so proud of my sweet son. And Kate? She is kind and loving and the best mommy. She is also such a hard worker. Her whole life revolves around making a home for her family. She started nursing school this week. I have no doubt she will be an incredible nurse. My boys are so lucky. She is an angel.
Today is my baby boy’s birthday. It makes me so sad. Birthdays do that to me now. Just a few minutes ago he was sitting in my bed with me watching Spongebob and having me scratch his back. He has the biggest blue eyes and they hold the key to my heart. Kyler is my sweet son, he is also my friend. I am so lucky. If you see him today, wish him well. His new turn around the sun starts today. This last year has been extraordinary, I cannot wait to see what he accomplishes next. Happy Birthday Kyler. You’ll always be my little guy. Momma loves you.