When I first started writing about Nash and his life, my only intention was to find some sort of outlet for all that I was feeling. I needed a safe place to put all my dark, scary, confusing, and sometimes happy feelings. I felt like I had so much to say and didn’t know how to express everything. I never realized how many people it would touch and how it would inadvertently help others, most importantly Todd. He reads every blog entry and is the first person to let me know if I haven’t written one in a while. I can tell he looks forward to them. Todd rarely expresses what he is feeling. He is, after all, a man, so getting him to express his feelings is like pulling teeth. However, he has expressed on numerous occasions that he wants me to write a blog about Nash, what he was like, and our memories of him. It makes him sad that the most read blog entries are my saddest ones. It’s not that I don’t want to write about Nash. It’s just that I write what I’m feeling at the moment that I’m feeling it. I didn’t think it would make sense to other people. He said to me one day, “Are you afraid once the new baby gets here that we may get confused about which memories are from Nash and which are from the new baby?” Then I thought to myself that I started writing this to help me. Why do I feel I have to keep it in some sort of chronological order? With that being said, I’m writing this blog for my husband, to make him smile, to give him something to go back, read and remember. All that matters to me is that Todd has something to read that makes him happy. If other people enjoy this story, that’s okay too. This is all about Nash though and why he was, and is still, so amazing.
When Nash was first born, not only was he a whopping eleven pounds, but also he could lift his head and smile immediately after he was born. I’m serious, that little dimple could be seen when he was only one day old. The day after he was born, the nurse came in to check on him. He was laying sweetly on my chest and when she shut the door behind her, the noise startled him. He lifted his head and turned to look at her. I will never forget the look she gave him. She was amazed not only that he could lift and turn his head the way he did, but also that he had the ability to focus on things with his eyes so shortly after being born. He could also down a bottle in like 2.5 seconds. It was a normal reaction for the person that was feeding him to look up at me with with amazement followed by a laugh in disbelief. I can’t tell you how many times friends and family would look at the empty bottle and then at Nash and say, “He is done already, I think he may need more.” I thought all of this was normal, don’t all babies do that? It was the running joke in the hospital that I gave birth to a toddler.
Nash could pass gas. I’m not talking about little cute baby farting. No, it was loud and went on for what seemed like minutes and each fart produced a huge smile from him. I would be in the other room and hear it. Usually I would yell at Todd because honestly I thought it was him, it was that loud. Todd would laugh so hard he would cry and say, “It wasn’t me!” No one was off limits from Nash’s farts. He absolutely loved to fart on his cousins. He was younger then most of them by years. I thought it was funny. After all, it was probably the only time he would have the upper hand against them. Seriously, if you are a child holding a baby you can’t just hear the fart, scream, set him down and run. No, they would just look at him in disbelief and at us with total embarrassment as Nash would drop bombs on them and smile.
Nash loved anything that involved him being naked. If he started crying, you could just start stripping off his clothes and he would immediately smile. He loved baths, the hotter the better. Todd would usually feel the water first and then give me his approval. He would always yell at me, “It’s too hot!” but Nash loved it. When he was in his tub, I sang to him the most. That’s when I found out how much he loved the cowboy song. I would be giving him his bath in the kitchen as Todd looked on from the living room. When I was all done, Todd would grab a towel and I would hand Nash to him. Todd always does this strange thing where he rolls his socks half way down his feet when he is relaxing. It looks crazy uncomfortable to me but he likes it. He would do the same thing with Nash’s socks and they would just sit together and chill. It was hilarious. Todd sent me a pic of Nash’s socks like that one day and I laughed out loud in the middle of the grocery store.
One day, Todd dressed Nash when I was at work. When I got home, he handed him to me and said, “This outfit is really tight on him and won’t button right.” At first look, I couldn’t figure it out. The buttons were all around the collar of Nash’s neck and the legs looked like spandex on him, his little rolls popping out around the very tight sleeves. He had just worn this a couple days ago, how was it not fitting? Then it hit me and I laughed hysterically. Nash’s arms were in the legs and his legs were in the arms. The buttons around the collar were actually the buttons that should have been between his legs, but instead of buttons between his legs there was a huge hole because that was suppose to be the opening for his neck. I can only imagine how confused they both were when Todd was putting it on him. Picture my chubby baby in an outfit put on completely backwards. I held him out to Todd and explained as I laughed hysterically. When Nash saw us laughing, he kept looking at me and then Todd and started smiling ear to ear. If only I had a video of that moment, I would watch and it over and over again.
I know since Nash passed he has become known for his smile, but you really can’t appreciate it for what it was unless you saw it in person. He smiled with his whole face! His eyes would light up and sometimes he would even kick his head to the side when he grinned…and that dimple, oh that dimple was the cherry on top of the already out of control cuteness he had going on…he just exuded happiness. You could tell when Todd or I did something that made no sense because of our absolute lack of experience as parents that Nash was almost enjoying it or at the very least found it to be amusing. His little face could be almost devious. We would be trying to zip up an outfit while yelling at each other about who was doing it wrong, and Nash would just look at us with this sideways grin like, you two are crazy but I love you.
His laugh was out of this world. He couldn’t quit get out a belly laugh so he would just breathe in and make this squeaky noise. It was as if he couldn’t wait to laugh so he just made up his own version. He had just started to belly laugh before he died. it wasn’t a full out belly laugh yet but you could tell just by the little he had managed to do that it was going to be just as amazing as his squeaky inhale laugh. When he cooed, his voice had a raspiness to it. What baby has a raspy voice…Nash. I pictured him having a speaking voice like Clint Eastwood. I wondered if his voice would stay low and raspy or if it would change as he grew.
He loved his saucer. It has tons of toys and gadgets, but he was obsessed with this alligator that would come apart. As soon as I would place him in the saucer, the first thing he would do was tear it all apart. Todd and I would take turns putting it back together only for him to tear it apart immediately. He would watch in suspense as we put it back together, already grabbing for it. I remember his eyes being so focused as we did this, almost like a dog staring at a treat you were about to give him. I find myself taking it apart now just for the familiar noise of it.
My special times with him were in the morning. He loved watching me put on my makeup. I would make crazy faces at him and he would always give me that sideways grin of his. Sometimes I would lay him on his back in the middle of the bed and throw the sheet up in the air over him. It would land on his little body and he would thrash his legs and arms around, blink his eyes fast and smile as I lifted it in the air again. Then came the high pitched breath in and the dimple. I would snatch him up and just smother his chubby cheeks with kisses. As much as I enjoyed snuggling with Nash, he loved it too. If you wanted a guaranteed smile from our little man, all you had to do was be present when he woke up in the morning or from any nap. I’m not lying, this is not an exaggeration. The first thing he always did when he woke up was smile. I would wonder what he could possibly be thinking.
Todd loved being outside with him. Whether it was laying him on a blanket in the yard or walking out to the mailbox, that was their thing. When Todd would pick him up after work he would leave him in the car seat and set him on the island in the kitchen as he made something to eat. Todd says at times he still sees things move out of the corner of his eye in the kitchen and wonders if it may be Nash, being that they spent so much time there.
I remember one day in particular, Todd’s uncle Mike called and said that there was a kitten stuck in a tree in downtown Fenton. His uncle owns a flooring store and had just laid carpet at a house close by. He had to leave but hated leaving that kitten, so he called Todd who is, to say at the very least, an animal lover. I wasn’t surprised at all when Todd looked at me and said, “Grab your things we’re going to rescue a kitten.” When we got there, the momma cat and another kitten were at the base of this skinny tree meowing at the kitten stuck in the tree. It was heart breaking; Todd tried everything. Eventually he threw a rope over the closest branch to the kitten, opened a can of tuna fish and put it in a small crate. Then he attached the crate to the rope and lured it up, all while he was halfway up this skinny tree himself that was blowing in the wind viciously. I could barely watch. He pulled the crate up as close to the kitten as he could get it, and then we waited…hours. I just sat under a tree with Nash, hoping Todd wouldn’t fall. People started gathering around to see the kitten rescued. Nash, on the other hand, passed out immediately in my arms. It wasn’t long before the majority of the crowd came to us. They would say things like “what a good baby” or “do you want to take him inside?” I told them how much he loved it outside and that we were fine. They looked at him smiling in his sleep and laughed. I remember one lady yelling to her daughter, “You have to come see this chunky baby. He is smiling in his sleep!” I just looked at him with a huge smile and then at Todd who was risking his life for this kitten while Nash was the one drawing all the attention. Todd just looked at me from halfway up the tree and smiled down at us. The kitten was eventually rescued and reunited with it’s momma.
Nash was the only baby I knew who hated being rocked. It took me two miserable months before I learned this vital peice of information. He was happy to just be held and talked to or sang to. I would pat his little butt, look at him and sing, and he was content. There were so many things that made Nash special, but what we loved the most is that he was ours. We felt amazed that we created such a perfect, happy baby boy. To say we loved him is just not saying enough. When you looked at him looking at us, you could see he felt the same. A young lady told me once, “It’s common for babies to die. You actually hear about it a lot! Good thing you can have another.” I just looked at her and smiled. Realizing that she has no idea what we lost. I hate it when people lump all baby deaths into one. Like they have no individual meaning. We didn’t lose a baby, we lost Nash. We also got to be his parents, and we got to be loved more than anything by a perfect angel. How lucky we were to be his mommy and daddy. I will always look back at those five months when it was just the three of us with nothing but happiness. I didn’t know true love until I met that little boy!