I was just telling one of my girlfriends last week that Zion doesn’t Tigger me on Sunday mornings anymore.
I miss it. It is one of the cutest things he ever did.
Every Sunday morning, all 105 pounds of my tazmanian angel would take a running leap into my bed, and land right on top of me, staring me eye to eye. He would wait for me to open my eyes, and he would say “Oh hi dare, Mama.”
Be still my heart.
The first few times he did it, it scared the crap out of me…waking me from a sound sleep. But over time, I grew accustomed to listening to those gorgeous little chubby feet smacking against the hardwood floor, so I would have a few seconds to brace myself before being dive-bombed by the eyes of Puss in Boots from Shrek.
But eventually I guess kids have to grow up.
They move past the Sunday morning rituals and the snuggling.
They lose their cute little pronunciations of things. For years, Zion called french fries “fee fies.” When Zoë was 2, and something would fall or break or someone yelled, she would shrug her shoulders and say, “What happened?” Dear God, those were the cutest things. I dang near cried the day I realized Zoë didn’t say that anymore, and the day Zion pronounced french fries correctly.
They lose their chubby cheeks and legs and feet. Well…some of us do.
They lose their blankies and wubbies and teddies, and trade them for electronics and Netflix and leather bomber jackets.
This Friday, Zoë is going to be 13. Yes you read that correctly. THIRTEEN.
I remember the evening she was born like it happened last week. (THIS from someone who can’t remember to buy milk.)
I was sitting in the hospital room with my new baby girl, my sister, my best friend, and my mom. Zoë was born the day before my sister Carrie’s 27th birthday. Carrie was holding Zoë, and suddenly Carrie said, “Wow, Zoë is going to turn 13 the same year I turn 40. How fun will that be?”
If she hadn’t been holding my newborn, I would have thrown something at her. Just hours old, and Carrie was foretelling a day that was light years away?
But it wasn’t light years away. That year has actually arrived.
Tiggered. Emotion style.
And if these walls could speak. Oh boy.
By Zoë’s 3rd year of life, Zion was 1. Their dad was gone. I was heartbroken and bankrupt. And Auntie Boo (that’s what the kids have always called Carrie) was my “other parent.” She loved those kids the way I loved them, with a little less iron fist. She got in the trenches. She even moved in at one point to help us survive. Auntie Boo is the best person I have ever known. Patient, kind, supportive, protective. But don’t cross her. She will morph into a hybrid of a mama bear and a velociraptor.
One of my favorite memories of Auntie Boo is actually the day the kid’s dad left.
Warped? Probably. But it’s hilarious in retrospect.
Zoë and I had come home from her first time donating her hair. She had 10 inches of hair cut off. Her dad was beyond furious, and started in on one of his tirades. That was it for me. I told him it was time to leave, but he wouldn’t go. So did I call the authorities?
I called Auntie Boo. She came through that front door, and he ran like a little boy.
You don’t mess with Auntie Boo.
So what have Zoë and Auntie Boo taught me over the past 13 years?:
- Sometimes life Tiggers you. Sometimes it is a good Tigger. Sometimes it is not so good. Things can happen that you don’t want. And didn’t plan. Like pregnancies. And bankruptcy. And divorce. But sometimes those become the best things that have ever happened to you.
- Never say never. Unless Auntie Boo starts liking Justin Bieber, then it’s okay to say never.
- A positive attitude goes a very long way.
- Hair grows back.
- It will always, always, always be funny to see a kind, sweet person go bananas. Like the toddler who pops the bully in the face, or the sister who bursts in looking like Cruella Deville to confront the bully husband, or the grandma running down the bleachers to kick the oblivious referee in the booty. That shiz is FUNNY. Don’t feel bad for laughing. That is some quality entertainment and the things memories are made of.
- Bones break. But did you know that once that bone heals, the place of the break becomes the strongest part of the bone? Think about that.
- The second best thing you will ever experience is seeing the underdog win. The best thing is being the actual underdog.
- The energy you give out, is exactly the energy you attract. Be happy, and positive, and full of life.
- If someone doesn’t love you or want to spend time with you, there is nothing wrong with you. There is something wrong with them.
- Take vacations. You can always make more money.
- When there is no way, you must make one.
- Don’t be a martyr. You’ll be shocked to find out how many people are willing to lend a hand to lighten your load. Your village will surprise you, and they are your best allies.
- NO ONE TELLS ME WHAT I CAN AND CAN’T DO.
So this morning, I woke up at 5:37 a.m. Believe it or not, for me, that is sleeping in.
I stayed in bed for about an hour, thinking of all the things I need to do today….laundry, rake leaves, go to the market, fill Etsy orders. And I decided pretty quickly that… you know what? Today is Sunday, and I am going to take my kids to the pumpkin patch. The other stuff can wait.
And right as I was about to get up and make some coffee, I heard Zion’s bedroom door open.
And before I knew it, I heard those little feet pitter-pattering against the wood floors, and my little telepathic lovebug took a flying leap…and Tiggered me.
“Oh hi dare, Mama.”
Thanks buddy. I needed that.