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My Child Stood on Elvis's Grave

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There are moments in a mother's life when she experiences children who pay no respect to boundaries. My second child was THIS Child.

He was a Houdini.

In one vacation he stood on Elvis' Grave, AND he scaled over boulders in an attempt to come face to face with a dinosaur!

He was my adorable child. People stopped us to comment on his bright green eyes that stood out with more long, dark lashes than Maybelline could fit in a mascara tube. He had bouncy curls highlighted with strands of gold. He had Cupid's lips and pudgy cheeks. But inside his cuteness overload, he was hell on wheels.

He was a child I couldn't take my eyes off for a moment. We traveled, we did things I felt children should do.

On a trip across the country, when he was 18-months-old, I realized HE was why signs were posted that said, "Do Not Touch", "Keep off Display", and "Stay Behind the Ropes".

My dad was with me on this particular trip. I was also traveling with my four-year-old old and, as mentioned, my fiery 18-month-old.

The four of us stopped in Memphis, Tennessee at Elvis Presley's Graceland. It's a tourist area attracting more than 600,000 visitors a year. My four-year-old loved Elvis and, as his mother, I wanted to give him the opportunity to experience Elvis in a more visual manner.

We were in line at the gravesite of Elvis.

If you haven't been to Graceland, Elvis' grave is in a circular plot of land with a fountain. There is a walkway, like a round-a-bout, allowing visitors to pay their respects to Elvis and his parents' grave and exit without disrupting the line. A short, rod-ironed fence serves as a barrier between fans and the four burial sites.

As my four-year-old was wowing his grandfather and me by regaling fun facts, my 18-month-old disappeared.

I heard gasps a little further up the line, and I glanced in that direction.


There, on top of Elvis' grave, was my 18-month-old!

He had squeezed through the rod-iron gate, crossed the graves of Elvis' parents and was STANDING on top of Elvis Presley's grave.

I was horrified!

I moved up the line and had to bribe my child with Circus Crackers to get him within reach where I could grab him. Eyes were burning my neck and there was a murmur of whispers judging my parenting.

Cross-country a week later, while visiting a dinosaur exhibit in Utah, I bent over to tie my four-year-old's shoes. When I stood up, my 18-month-old had scaled the faux boulders and was heading into the exhibit to pet the dinosaur.

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The climbing over the large boulders had slowed him down enough for me to snatch him out of the exhibit. My dad snapped a photo for us to remember the occasion.

I learned a lot about myself raising him. I spent many nights in my room crying that I was failing as a mother. There was frustration in trying to, what I now suppose was, confining him. He's 23 now and MUCH calmer.

He still marches to his own drummer, but fences, for the most part, still don't hold him back!