This year as in years already past. the families of Kyron Horman will celebrate with two birthday parties. There will be cakes, balloons, heartfelt cards and loving relatives, but the guest of honor will be missing. He was born 8 years ago today, September 9th.
“Regardless of where he is, I’m going to celebrate the fact that we brought him into this world,”
Kyron’s father, Kaine Horman, told The Oregonian.
“It will be hard him not being there, but we’re going to do something that he loves to do.”
That includes listening to “Abracadabra” by the Steve Miller Band, “Say” by John Mayer and “Fireflies” by Owl City — three songs that will be played at his party in Medford, hosted by his mother, Desiree Young, at the West Main Church of Christ. That also includes putting around a mini-golf course at the
Family Fun Center & Bullwinkle’s Restaurant in Wilsonville, where a second party and fundraiser will take place Sunday. At both, the focus will be the boy with a goofy grin who has captured hearts across the country since he disappeared from Skyline School in Portland on June 4. Investigators have focused on his stepmother, Terri Moulton Horman, who is living with her parents in Roseburg.
She has not spoken to anyone since Kyron’s disappearance and since she left him at his grade school with his science project. Terri’s 16-year-old son, James, who first met Kyron as a baby, described his stepbrother as highly intelligent with a knack for math. Kyron was also timid but gained confidence with each landmark in his life. The first huge landmark was just before his second birthday when he got glasses. “That was huge,” said Kaine Horman. “He would fall down a lot when he was younger learning how to walk. And I don’t think any of us correlated that with the fact that he couldn’t see very well.”
Once he put glasses on, Kyron’s fuzzy world snapped into focus. “He got that grin
on his face and started walking around looking at everything,” Horman said. His fears eased as well, Young said: “He didn’t have separation anxiety as much after that.”
Kyron was born about three weeks after his mother filed for divorce. As a baby, he attended day care and spent time with both parents, though Young maintained primary custody. That changed in 2004, when she sought medical treatment in Canada, giving Horman physical custody of Kyron. When Young returned late that year strapped with medical bills, she moved to Medford to regroup with her family. Kyron stayed with his dad in the Portland area but visited his mom in Medford, where he has a Batman-themed room with toy collector cars and a yellow Labrador named Ernie. “They’re inseparable,” Young said. “Ernie follows him everywhere.”
In Medford, Kyron enjoys playing with his 7-year-old cousin Mayson, looking
for bugs in the backyard, casting his fishing pole and going to family barbecues and on camping and boating trips. Kyron also loves the Oregon Zoo, playing video games and going bowling with his dad, who took him to Seaside for one birthday. The highlight of the four-day trip, Horman said, was a hot rod show. Horman, a software engineer at Intel, has always taken the day off for his son’s birthday. This year, with Kyron missing, he can’t sleep, feels scattered and is emotionally and mentally exhausted.
Tears fall daily — for both parents. But they’re determined to focus on the boy with infectious enthusiasm who performs silly stunts and makes them proud. “He’s not like other children,” Young said. “He enjoys hard work. He likes to pull weeds. He likes to vacuum. He likes to clean the house.” Kyron leaps at opportunities to share work with his dad, too. “He learned to do his own laundry,” Horman said. “I don’t know how many kids do their own laundry at 6. … He also cleans his own dishes. He has enthusiasm even towards fundamental
things. I’m always proud of him for that.”
Before his 5th birthday, Kyron entered Skyline School with approval from his parents, his pediatrician and a psychologist. He showed an interest in science and a talent for art, which he applied to projects on airplanes, bridges and the red-eyed tree frog display in the science fair the day he disappeared. His parents cherish his artwork, including a self-portrait that hangs in his blue bedroom full of toys in Northwest Portland. “It’s amazing for someone his age,” Horman said. At school, Kyron became more outgoing and adventurous. Once fearful of the water, he took swimming lessons, ventured down slides and swam underwater. He also played soccer, developing skills in teamwork.
“He grew a lot from the beginning of the season to the end,” Young said. But perhaps his biggest advance was in reading. “It was very hard for him,” Horman said. “He would like it if you read him a book, but him reading a book — not so
much.” Kyron went from testing below grade level to being slightly above. “Now he reads me books,” Horman said. “He’s enthusiastic about it.”
About a year ago, Kyron announced he wanted to be a police detective, investigating crimes like his stepdad, Tony Young, who works for Medford police. The day Kyron disappeared, he was wearing a “CSI” T-shirt, though Desiree Young never let him watch such a graphic show. She said organizing his birthday party has been tough. “It was an extremely difficult decision to make,” she said. “But the way I look at it is … if Kyron were to see it, I want him to know that he’s loved. I want him to feel that we care. And that we’re going to find him. I’m hoping we have a good turnout to show Kyron that everyone’s caring for him.”
- Parents mark missing Oregon boy’s 8th birthday (sfgate.com)
- Kyron Horman’s dad acts as if missing Oregon boy will start school (thenewstribune.com)