9 years ago today, a loud and wailing cry sounded from a tiny hospital room in North Santa Rosa. That’s right folks, the Taz had entered the building – and the world – and was making his presence known.
He had the bluest eyes I had ever seen. And once he learned to smile, he used that little grin of his to win the hearts of anyone who came in contact with him. The Taz was a happy baby. And a happy toddler. But from day one, the Taz was full of energy and couldn’t be held back. He was in too much of a hurry to learn how to crawl, so he adapted a new way to move by lifting one leg in the air and scooting around on his belly – fast. I would race after him, and he would be hard to catch. At 2, he would disappear from our house right under our noses to go hang out with the teenage skateboarders in the parking lot. He would escape from his room to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches – in his bed and all over his walls. He would corner our poor cat and organize his toys on her belly while she just laid there, looking at us as if to wonder when we were going to rescue her.
That’s the thing about the Taz. He’s a natural animal charmer. We had this one cat in our neighborhood that we stayed clear of. He was big and orange, and looked at anyone who got close to him like he was going to kill them. The Taz, at age 5, had that cat laying at his feet and purring while the Taz scratched his forehead. It’s an amazing thing to watch – this boisterous little boy that, at times, can’t be calmed down, has this thing about him that draws animals to him.
He’s also brilliant, though I don’t think he realizes the full extent of it. In 1st grade, he was helping his 4th grade sister with her math homework. For “fun”, he likes to do math problems in the car with me, just to see how fast he can do the problems in his head. And his writing skills, who knew? When he has an essay to write for school, he’ll try to get me to write it for him. And when he gets frustrated by the lack of help I am giving him, he will just do it himself out of spite. And what he writes is more amazing than I even knew he was capable of.
The Taz is just full of surprises.
Of course, there’s also the side of Taz that refuses to be too serious. Somewhere along the line, my little Tasmanian Devil decided that he couldn’t smile nicely once a camera was in front of him. He is famous for his photo bombs…..
And then there’s also all of the blog material I get out of him. “The Taz was misusing the bathroom – again.” “The Taz has no shoes on today because he threw them on top of the school.” “Today I couldn’t get all my shopping done because the Taz was break dancing in the aisles.” “The Taz let his friend hold his wallet, and now wonders where his $50 in Christmas money went.” “I had to buy the Taz new shoes for the 3rd time this year because his shoes were talking to me – and I couldn’t have him go around with duct tape on them for the rest of the year…”
The Taz makes my life interesting, to say the least. He creates little crisis’s that has me pulling out my hair and leaves me, at times, wondering if I’m really cut out for this motherhood thing. But he also has a firm hold on my heartstrings. At the end of the day, he is the first one to snuggle up to me and tell me he loves me. Those three words come out of his mouth easily and full of meaning, and he tells them to me often. As strong and independent as he tries to be, he leans on me for support and to keep him safe. In many ways, he is still the little boy with the big blue eyes, looking up at me with the mischievous grin that wins my heart every time. And I love him back, a million times over.
Happy 9th birthday, Taz! I love you!