Just three weeks ago, Kale had his 22nd birthday, today is Tyler’s 20th! My boys are not only no longer children, they’re no longer teenagers, either. Over the years, so many people told me how fast time would go, and I always nodded my head in agreement, but it’s so true. Just yesterday, I was birthing babies and today they’re leaving me with an “Empty Nest”.
When I “knew” I was pregnant with Kale, from that moment on, I also “knew” he was a boy. When I found out we were expecting a second, I had convinced myself he was a little girl. The whole time I was pregnant, I thought of him only as a little girl. I didn’t even pick boy names.
So, you can imagine my surprise when the doctor announced in the delivery room I’d had another boy. After telling him to “look again”, I actually suggested he “put him back”! I can’t even believe I did that. I was pretty sore at Tyler for depriving me of my little girl and being a boy. Sad, I know.
The nurse came to my room a couple hours later for his first feeding. At first, I thought it was someone to take my vitals or draw blood or something, so I just laid real still hoping they wouldn’t bother me. When she saw me “sleeping”, she turned to go and I saw faintly that it was "my baby”. I asked quietly, “Is that my baby?” She turned back and said it was and that he was wanting to eat. I remember saying, “ok, I’ll take him.” I was wrestling with my own feelings of disappointment, but when she handed him to me and his little eyes met mine, we made a connection at that moment that I’ll never forget. From about 2:00 until 6:00 that morning, I held him and talked to him and “we decided” on a name for him. It’s my most precious memory of him. I’ve been in love with that boy ever since.
Tyler’s first doctor’s visit (looks like Kale was trying to get out the door.)
Tyler has been THE most fun child I could’ve ever dreamed of. Since the moment he was born he’s brought us so much joy.
He’s a social child. He loves people. He loves action. He loves fun! Always has.
Tyler and Dave at the Ranger picnic - 1991 (What were those fuzzy round things called that people used to stick on everything? Well, that's what he stuck to his forehead.)
Notice Kale's serious pose and Tyler's goofy pose – 1991
Tyler’s new love (besides Courtney) is his guitar. Both boys showed an interest in their preferred musical instrument early on.
Tyler would go and go and go until, once he got still, he'd just fall asleep. But, the side most people never saw of him was this one... where he would lay and color or do puzzles for sometimes hours. He'd be so quiet, I'd get nervous wondering what he was up to.
When the boys were about 4 (Kale) and 2 (Tyler), I got them flat-top hair cuts.
Shortly after getting their flat tops, we went to Jodi’s and Dave carried in Tyler who was wearing a black winter snowmobile suit. When Gary (Jodi's husband, aka “White Cloud” – nicknames are big here) saw him, he said, "There's Uncle Fester!" Tyler didn't know who Uncle Fester was at the time, and he really didn’t like the new name, even so… White Cloud kept calling him "Fester".
Finally, around middle school, he accepted the nickname. Tyler has had several nicknames in the past 20 years; "Monkey", "Mookie", "T-Willy", "Mr. T", to name a few. But after all this time, he’s still lovingly called "Fester".
Today, Fester is still full of adventure. He’s fun-loving, with a tender heart. He’s never met a stranger. We’ve never had a dull moment. He’s given us a roller-coast ride through parenting, but we’re excited to see what God is going to do through him. I’m SO grateful that God gave me TWO sons… and I’m so blessed to be their momma!
Happy 20th birthday, Fester!
As Kale used to say, we love you “bigger than the sky is blue”!!