Monday, February 14, 2022

Tyler Turns 30

It's almost impossible to absorb the fact that Tyler will be turning 30 in a week.  Those 30 years have provided the most joy and challenge that anyone could imagine.  One thing that I do know is that I still love him today as much as I did when I first laid eyes on him.  

It would be easy to remember some of the struggles of the past 30 years, but instead, I will be doing a small series of posts talking about the good memories I've shared with him so far.  These will be the memories that I always gravitate to when I think about his infectious laugh and bold personality.

When Tyler was very small, I was only in my early 20's.  I still enjoyed bowling, playing softball, and watching sports.  Tyler seemed to enjoy watching sports too.  One particular thing we watched together was pro wresting.  Tyler was so small and light that I could pretend to wrestle with him on the floor, couch, or bed, and he would giggle and just go along with it.  While it may have looked like I was "rough-housing" with him, Ty was laughing all the way and asking me to do it more.  "Again!" he would say and would want gently rolled into a pin or bodyslammed against a stack of pillows.  Through all of the theatrics Tyler was supremely protected without question,

His favorite thing was if I laid down beside the couch he would scramble as fast as he could onto the couch and do a cannonball right on top of my chest.  I'd act like I was being crushed by a 300 pound giant and groan in pain.  He'd laugh and scramble right back onto the couch to bomb me again.  The swimming pool was the same story, he scrambled to the edge and flew into my arms without a care in the world.  If I close my eyes I can hear him imploring me to let him leap into my arms over and over again.

Back then we were just goofing and having fun, but it didn't take long to realize how this helped cement our bond like nothing else could have.  Tyler is all about trust, and our play was full of him trusting me to understand his body language and manipulate his movements.  He figured out that he could fly off the couch and I would be there to catch him just right and never let him fall.  He could go upside-down or spin in a circle and never worry about how soft he would land.  

And so it has always been with Tyler and me.  He learned to read my body language as much I learned to read his.  We often use physical contact to convey unspoken messages to one another, like a language we developed through time.  As he has abandoned much of his expressive language, these non-verbal queues are even more important.

So with this I wish my cannonballing little man a most joyous 30th birthday!

Be well and God bless.    Tom

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