"Look At Me"

"Look At Me"
monotype and screenprint

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

2555 Days With Tyler

My first-born son turns 7 this week.  Unbelievable.  It seems like just yesterday I was holding my colicky baby boy and trying to figure out how to get him to stop crying.  Time has a warped sense of humor.  When you have little ones, the days fly by in a blur...the day-to-day routine is so exhausting you can't fully enjoy it.  It's only years later that you look back at the little details and realize how important they really were.

The other day, Tyler couldn't find his shoes.  At his parent-teacher conference, we talked about how one of the things Tyler needs to work on is being more responsible for his own belongings.  So I reminded him that he needs to keep track of his things and asked where he last left his shoes.  Tyler got upset and started crying, so I asked what was wrong.  He responded, "You don't like me anymore."  I asked why he would think that, and he said, "Because I lose stuff all the time."

I reassured my son that just because he loses things doesn't mean I don't like him.  Then I started thinking of how much I really do LOVE my son, regardless of his missing shoes.  I have 7 years (2,555 days) worth of memories with this child...I don't know much, but I know I love him.

These Things I Know:

1.  Tyler's favorite color is currently red, but it was hot pink when he was little.
2.  His white blonde hair has a couple of darker blonde leopard spots.  You can see them on the top of his head if you look really closely--especially right after a haircut.

3.  He has a "crazy toe."  By that, I mean the 2nd toe on his left foot curls over the 3rd toe.  All the time.  If I have him step on a piece of paper with paint on his foot, the footprint that is left is "missing" a toe.

4.  Right now Tyler wants to be both a President and a Zookeeper when he grows up.  Just a few months ago he wanted to be an astronaut.  And a few months before that he wanted to be a paleontologist.  I wonder what's next?
5.  He has a smattering of freckles on his nose...and I'm in love with every single one of them.
6.  His favorite song is "Diamond Eyes" by Shinedown.
7.  When Tyler was a baby, I used to dance with him on my hip to Alan Jackson's "Remember When."  I told Tyler the story, and if he hears it on the radio, he tells me "our song" is on.

8.  Mashed potatoes make him gag.  So do bananas.
9.  Tyler likes to help me cook.  One time when he was really little, he was helping me make banana bread and decided to throw the entire egg into the electric mixer before I could stop him.  Little tiny pieces of eggshell scattered throughout the batter.  He was so upset that he'd ruined the banana bread that he started to cry and tried to pick the pieces of shell out, one by one.
10.  He tries to save the toads from our deep window wells every single year.
11.  He talks like an adult.  I've been told this several times over the past few years by numerous people.  Tyler is older than his years and has an extensive vocabulary.  I'm not sure if it's because he had to grow up too fast, or if he is just a really smart kid--but he shocks people regularly.
13.  I saved Tyler's life once.  He almost got hit by a semi-truck.  But I dove in front of the truck and pushed my son out of the truck's path.  Tyler rewarded me by punching me in the face for scaring him.
12.  He's an amazing brother.  He acts like he doesn't care about Derek, but he's the first to defend him.  He'll also check on Derek when he's sick, and he gets excited when Derek says or does something new.
13.  When Tyler was born, I thought he was the most beautiful baby I'd ever seen.  I'm sure a lot of mom's say that.  But I was expecting a red, alien looking thing...and they handed me a pink little boy with a perfectly round head, wide eyes, and dark blonde hair.  He was BEAUTIFUL.  I couldn't believe he was mine.

14.  Tyler has a huge heart.  Something happened a week or so ago that made me sad.  I won't go into details.  Tyler knew what happened and wrote me a note.  It was full of misspelled words, but the message was clear.  The last lines read, "I'll auease (always) be thare to kumfert you.  I'll auease be in your hart."

15.  My son is amazing.  He's smart and funny and sensitive and best of all, he's GOOD.  I couldn't possibly be more proud of the young man he is becoming.  Happy 7th birthday, kiddo.


  1. What a wonderful tribute to your son! It is always hard to remember how amazing our older NT kids are in the craziness that is our Autism world. My daughters birthday isn't until September and she will be 17 but I think I will be doing something like this for her! PEACE from the Laughter, Could be the Missing Piece mum

  2. ohhh - this is the most beautiful birthday wish ever... EVER! an amazing gift that tyler will always cherish and treasure. happy birthday kiddo! <3

    1. I could have gone on and on...I had to stop somewhere, though...right??? :)