He makes us smile.

It was almost a year ago now, on an extraordinarily hot day, when I pulled my hair up in a knot on top of my head while I bathed both children. Tuck said, “Mama, you're a buffalo.” The following day I had an audition, and threw on a sundress before I left the house. Tuck watched me from across the room as I shifted the skirt into place. He said, “Mama, you’re a princess.”
I didn't record his words then, but I haven't forgotten them.  I'm not sure I'll remember as much as I'd like though, so have made notes on a few things recently.
While we were in Iowa, Tucker jumped on a neighbor’s trampoline for what must have been the first time, outside of the gymnastics classes he took right before he turned two. There were at least five children on the trampoline when he got on, and after a moment of everyone jumping and screaming, Tuck stopped, raised his arms out from his sides and yelled, “Everyone! Sit down. Let’s talk.”

At the sculpture park Tuck found a rectangular structure that did kind of look like it could have been a door. After he asked to go in, Andy explained that it was solid and that they couldn’t go in. Tuck said, “Maybe there’s dressing in there too?”   (salad?!)

He introduces himself to EVERYONE – the grocery clerk, the little girl across the parking lot, the bank teller, the same friends he sees every week at school.  “Hi, I’m Tucker Betz, what’s your name?”  But then when we run into someone we do know, someone we’d like him to introduce himself to, he plays shy.

As he dried off last night, Tuck looked around the bathroom. “There are bathtubs at Heaven’s house. And Celie has a pink towel there.”

I put some new socks on him this morning.  His grin grew as he inspected the sea turtles on them.  “Where did these come from?” he asked.  I answered. “We need to write her a note,” he said. (We already did.) But a thank you note. He is grateful.  If he learns nothing else, ever, I don’t care.

When I left him at school today, I explained that I was going to work while he was there. “I’ll see you on TV later,” he assumed. No, but, progress. Last time we talked about work he thought I painted toe nails.


  1. "Hello Tucker name is Erin Perlick. And I think you and my son Ross would get along famously."

    Precious moments...

  2. Dear Buffalo Princess,

    Thanks to you and Andy, Tucker & Tollie, I am now enjoying some entirely new visions of Heaven's house, trampoline activities, and salad sculptures -- and I am grateful for the smiles you all share.

  3. I agree with rht...we should call you Buffalo Princess. You are so smart to write all this down...because you think you'll remember b/c it's so cute and precious...but then you don't. He is too much. I've taught my kids about thank you notes too...I think they are so important and sweet. And I'm so glad they have pink towels in heaven for Celia.

  4. Zoey still introduces herself to complete strangers with her standard "I'm Zoey Rose Kennedy. I'm four. How old are you?" Tucker and Tollie are both so big and they must be the Apple of your eye. Reading about them is such a delight. Thanks for continuing to share with the world.