December 10, 2008 by Marj Hatzell
Dear Bug Boy,
I can hardly believe eight years have gone by this quickly. I know it sounds cliche, but it’s true! And my life is nothing but a cliche, so it totally works. Anyways. Eight years. OMGWTFBBQ!!! I’m starting to feel old now. And the clock is ticking. Which clock, you ask? Why, the MOMMY CLOCK, that’s which one!
See, I met your new cousin yesterday and my ovaries went into a tailspin and nearly leapt out of my abdominal cavity. I mean, seriously! The ta-tas started to hurt, my skin began to get goose-bumpy (is that a word? It is now.) and my eyes welled up with tears. There is something so magical about holding a new baby, even one that isn’t your own. All I could think about was the first time I met you, how proud I was, how scared I was and how utterly and totally in love I was with you. You were a gorgeous little guy, jet-black hair, hazel eyes and creamy white skin. You had a mouth like a hoover and a cry like a wild animal. There was no way anyone was going to ignore you! And to prove it you made sure you projectile-vomited all over everyone for about a year. It garnered you a nickname related to bodily functions involving regurgitation. I know, I know, term of endearment, right? I’m such a good mom…
Anyways. Eight years. Eight years of changing wet pants (we must talk about that one, by the way). Eight years of tearing that ONE. LAST. BOOK. Away from your tired, baggy eyes and scratchy voice. Eight years of you being all, “PLEASE, Moooooom! I NEED that book! I NEED IT, Moooooom!” Eight years of you slithering out of bed in the morning, curling into my lap and asking me to dress you, admitting you stayed up to late with the flashlight under the covers stealing one more chapter. Eight years of wiping the running faucet that is your nose, taking your temp, holding your head while you retch into my newly-cleaned toilet, taking you to the ER, cleaning up flesh wounds and yanking loose teeth. Eight years of you chattering incessantly (Rainman) while we drive anywhere, telling me what everyone in your class wore that day or that so-and-so like green and purple and you like red and another girl likes blue but you don’t know what your spelling words are. Eight years of stall-tactics when it’s time to shut out the lights. Eight years of, “I just need one more drink!” or “I need an apple to fall asleep!”
Buddy, I have to tell you. I love every hair on your head. The brown ones, the blond ones and the red ones. I love your uni-brow (you can thank your Dad for that). I love that you have my big butt and big feet and Daddy’s shoulders and round tummy. I love that you get so excited over every little thing. I love the way your lips get all pouty when you aren’t getting your way and your voice gets velvety and your eyelashes bat at me (why do boys get those lashes? WHY?) and you’re all, “But Mom! You are beautiful! You look great today, Mom!” I love it when you work so hard to get your homework done and proudly show me three weeks of perfect spelling tests. I love it when you are just like your Daddy and just like your Mommy at the very same time. We are totally getting paybacks, yo.
I am so proud of how you are with your brother. I know it is difficult to love him but you are fiercely protective of him and will do anything to make him laugh. Pelting him in the face with a superball and giving him a black eye did NOT make him laugh, by the way. You know, just sayin’. But when you chase him and sit on him and play peek-a-boo and push him as hard as you can on the swing? He loves that. And he loves you and looks up to you and watches EVERYTHING you do. That’s why he likes to get into your bed sometimes and play with your things, even though it drives you crazy. It’s because he wants to be like his totally awesome big brother. The big brother who makes him happy, tries to drown him in the tub and knocks him over when crashes into him on his bike. It’s a good thing he likes it rough. The poor kid is beating you in the “I have bruises” category and that’s SAYING SOMETHING. Boys…
I love how you explain autism to people. I like it when you tell them it is no big deal and you like who you are because it gives you super powers. I also like it when you tell them everyone is a little autistic and that’s ok. You are comfortable with who you are and I think that is fantabulous. Mostly because my biggest dream for you is to be happy and like who you have become. And I think you are well on your way.
You are detail-0riented, to the point that you MUST! THINK! OF! EVERYTHING! You truly care about the people in your life, to the extent that you worry if they leave an eraser or a twist tie behind. And you know how I feel about twist ties. ACK! Your gap-toothed smile lights up a thousand tacky-colored-blinking-Christmas-displays. You are thoughtful and considerate and have great manners, even when you are telling me to, “Shut up. PLEASE.”
Just please stop going around and telling people I burp don’t shower and have pimples. You know, if you want to make it to NINE.