I would say that when Nash was around two months old we started settling into our roles as parents. We knew what made him tick; we were starting to know his cries. We no longer complained about how it was a total event that had to be thought out and planned just to run to the corner store. We loved it! We didn’t want it any other way.
Nash was getting quite the reputation for being the happiest baby ever. His smile could light up any room and he didn’t ration out his smiles by any means. He would smile at complete strangers in the grocery store. It became hard to catch him not smiling. We were going out more. We watch our nieces and nephews quite a bit which meant we had an endless supply of aunts and uncles to babysit. They no doubt felt they owed us, but at the same time genuinely wanted him anytime they could get him. They adored him! When I say he was loved…it feels like an understatement. They would all take out pictures of Nash as if he were their own, bragging on him like I did. I pictured my nieces painting his nails when he became a toddler. I pictured my nephews being like protective big brothers.
What I loved most was the change I saw in Todd. I no longer got panicked phone calls on my way home from work. Instead I would call to check on them and Todd would say “I can’t talk right now, I’m hanging with my boy.” When I walked in the house, Nash no longer cried for me. He would flash me that grin when I would say, “Hey buddy!” But he was content in his daddy’s arms. If he wasn’t on the couch with daddy, they were outside laying in the lawn. Nash loved to be outside. He was starting to laugh…not quite a belly laugh but this hysterical screeching deep breath in. He did occasionally get out a belly laugh. His first belly laugh was with his grandma. I managed to record it! He started really focusing his eyes on our dogs. Everything they did was funny to him.
I would brag about the amount of “likes” Nash’s pictures would get on Facebook. Todd looked at it like a sport. He would say, “Look Nash got 30 more likes than that baby” and “I don’t know if you know this, but he is kind of a big deal.”
My favorite time was still at night. As wrong as it may be, I loved when he would wake up at 4:00 a.m. and I would put him in bed with me. He would turn on his side toward me and throw his arm over my neck and his leg on my belly. I would wake to him doing what was the closest to talking that he could do. I would open my eyes and he would flash that smile at me, completely melting my heart. His best time by far though was waking up from a nap. If he slept two minutes or eight hours, he ALWAYS woke up with a smile.
His favorite time bedsides napping was bath time. I have been told I can carry a tune and I always thought that if I sang to him, maybe he would sing when he got older. When he was in his tub, I would sing lullabies, pop songs, even rap songs! I got little reaction. When he was about two months old, I was running out of ideas. Then I sang “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys.” The smile I got was unreal…it became his song. If he was crying I would only have to sing the first line…”Cowboys ain’t easy to love and they’re harder to hold.” He would smile…sometimes he would still be crying while he was smiling. Like he was confused as to what he should do.
Todd had his own song he sang to him. I love my husband…but he can not carry a tune. I think he truly feels that he can. Like one of those American Idol rejects who truly believes they are good. I love it! The first few weeks of Nash’s life, when I thought I was gonna kill Todd, he genuinely felt that I was going to leave and take Nash. One day he just started singing “Mirrors” by Justin Timberlake. Nash loved it when Todd would hit the high note…”I don’t want to lose you now! ” When I say hit the high note, Todd would not only do what he calls singing at the very top of his so-called range, but he would Celine Dion punch his chest and throw his hands in the air very dramatic like. Nash would just giggle hysterically. I’m not sure if it was the singing or the hand gestures, or a combination of both. All I know is that I was laughing right there with him. Todd later told me that song made him think of how he would feel if I ever left with Nash.
I am not exaggerating about how much we loved him. I would be sitting on the couch holding Nash, he loved to stand on my lap, and I would look at Todd and say, “Look at him! No really look at him! Is he not the cutest thing you have ever seen?” I would constantly thank Todd for giving him to me. We were over the moon in love.
We did have to switch Nash’s sitter again. His current one was adopting twin baby boys. It was just going to be too hard for her to care for three babies. Luckily we found someone who watched the children of people Todd knew. She, like the others, loved him immediately. On June 18th, 2014, Todd sent me a selfie of him and Nash while I was on my way home from work. I had no idea then that at it would be the last picture of our baby alive.