December 10, 2009 by Marj Hatzell
Dear Bug Boy,
Even though you were a total grumpy pants this morning, I still love you. Today is a very special day for me. I hope it is a special day for you, because today is the ninth anniversary of when I got hit upside with a brick and found out what real life was all about. In other words, it’s the day I became a parent. The day I heard you scream (and scream, and scream, and scream, and…) for the first time. But certainly not the last time because that screaming? Should have been a big, flashy neon Vegas sign warning me that you were soooooo type A. Just like your momma.
I cannot believe that my sweet little baby has grown up to be this amazing and wonderful nine-year-old boy. You went from a high-energy baby who ate and puked non-stop to this wild and rough toddler who didn’t say a word to this inquisitive two-year old who talked NON-STOP when you became a big brother. You literally talked for the first time the moment you laid eyes on him and said, “Ooooooh look, a BABY!” and then looked at me point blank and said, “I WANT A COOOOOKIE!” And we were floored. Not because I had lost 5 pints of blood and ended up with an emergency C-section due to placenta abruptia, but because you hadn’t said one word up to that point. Wowsers.
Then you became the big brother we always wanted for Bugaboo. You sat on him when he tried to crawl, took food and toys away when we weren’t looking, put him in the toy box and closed the lid and kissed him and read books to him (you were reading easy readers by three). And when he toddled away you’d exclaim, “BUT I’M NOT DONE YET!” and follow him and keep reading.
You and Shadow have always been best buds. You learned to walk holding on to her rear end (which she really did not care for, but what evs, you didn’t take too long to learn) and could use her for a pillow. Or a foot stool. Or something to keep your feet warm. And you still do. In fact, her greatest purpose around here is VACUUM. You and your brother make sure she reaches her hoovering potential each and every day. And we wonder why she has weight issues. Please, don’t tell me how many pieces of pork chop or peas or rice you’ve slipped to her under the table. I’m fairly certain I don’t want to know.
You know how you used to not use public restrooms and when we drove across the country to Utah when you were seven it was a LITTLE challenging to get you not to wet your pants? That’s when we learned the power of bribery good parenting. A little Walmarts goes a long way. In fact, you challenge us each and every day to be better parents. And you challenge us period. And you point out every little thing we do wrong. Every curse word. Every cheat. Every mile over the speed limit. Every time we don’t stop for THREE SECONDS at a stop sign. If we don’t put something in recycling, guess who reminds us? Yup. YOU. You are very detail oriented and never miss a trick. This is why I should just give up on spelling stuff around you, because you are smarter than I am. And a fifth grader. And just about most people I know. You memorize EVERYTHING you read and hear. Which is why, like your Uncle Jay, you’ll make a great cop someday. OCD can be turned into some fabulous occupations. Because we all know that 8:57 is NOT the same thing s 9:00. OH NO IT IS NOT.
This is what I love about you, though. You are the light of our lives, just like the meaning of your name. You give us a spark. You create energy in all of those around you. You are vibrant, the life of the party. You want to be friends with everyone you meet and you want everyone you meet to like you. You can’t resist reading book after book after book to gain every last bit of insight you can before you can’t fight your eyelids anymore and pass out on a pile of books. You are a perfect combination of your father and mother. In other words, you’ve got a short temper, love gadgets and electronics, read everything you can get your hands on, don’t like your food touching (casseroles will kill, yo!) and like to be involved in just about everything. You have boundless energy and a smile that can brighten up the darkest day.
Life hasn’t been the same since you’ve been in it.
Happy Birthday, my precious, loving, sensitive, kind boy!