Tasha Stories

TashaMy daughter Tasha is going to be married in a little over a week. How the heck she ever got old enough (22) for that to happen is a complete mystery to me. Seems like five minutes ago she was a ridiculously cute little angel-eyed toddler.

The priest who will be performing her marriage ceremony wanted some fun stories to (gently) roast her with. Tasha asked me what I could come up with, so I spent some time strolling on memory lane today. I had a lovely time remembering life with my beloved girl.

Tasha the Snow Daredevil
Tasha enjoyed cross country skiing. Mostly, she liked the sliding-down-the-hill-real-fast parts. When faced with a scary, steep hill, her grandma taught her to yell, “Gravity is my frieeeeeeeend!” as she slid on down the hill. From then on, she was all about the hills. One day when she was maybe seven years old, we went up to one of the ski areas which featured a groomed network of trails. We were having a grand time barreling along down a fairly narrow trail, whizzing around the bumps and curves, snowplowing to keep from attaining terminal velocity. Unexpectedly, we came upon two middle-aged women, unhurt but terribly tangled together in a heap in the middle of the trail, struggling to regain their footing. I, in the lead, managed to barely sneak by the wreckage of skis and arms and legs and pulled to a stop just beyond them. I turned around in time to see the women look up and see Tasha coming down the trail, crouched and speeding at them like a little puffy pink meteorite. Realizing their doom, they cringed in preparation for impact. They (and I) were sure the kid would be unable to stop or avoid them and they could not disentangle themselves in time to get out of the way. It looked like certain disaster. Tasha never batted an eyelash. With a look of steely determination on her sweet face, she maneuvered neatly around them without even slowing down. After she had zoomed past, the ladies and I were stunned for a moment, looking at each other with our chins hanging slack, and then we all broke up in hoots of laughter. It was awesome.

Tasha’s World of Imagination & Magic
From the kitchen of my first little apartment with toddler-sized Tasha, I could look out through the living room to the large sliding glass doors that led out to the back yard. The yard was a grassy area adjacent to the golf course, its rear border lined with big old cedar trees along a fence. I’d keep the door open so I could hear Tasha back there, but from the kitchen all I could see was a small, Tasha-shaped blur go zooming by the sliders in one direction, then after a bit go zooming by the other way. She told me that one of the big trees was a dragon, and she’d have sword battles with it.

Tasha Goes to School
As the daughter of a single working mom, Tasha was in child care from the time she was three months old. It was not a cushy life, but she learned to be confident and social, making friends way more easily than I ever did. Tasha’s first elementary school hosted an open house for all the new students and their parents prior the official start of the school year. The teachers and classrooms were open for visiting, and there was punch and cookies and a general uproar. I was amazed at the number of children who looked awfully stressed and unhappy, resolutely velcro’d to mom or dad’s shinbone. Tasha, on the other hand, ditched me about three seconds after we walked in the door, skipping happily about to poke her head in all the rooms, saying hello to her teacher-to-be, hearing a story read aloud in the library, etc. I kept her in sight, enjoying her excitement and happiness. Near the end of the evening, she came rushing up to me, shouted, “Mom! I’m going on a bus ride, ‘kay? Bye!” and zoomed away. Outside, she waved to me enthusiastically from the bus window, completely fearless and having a blast. The driver just went around the block, but she loved it.

Tasha Works her Mom Over
Tasha studied Japanese for several years and made two trips to Japan in high school. While on one of the trips she called home and said she had something pretty intense to tell me. She went on for a bit about how it was a big deal, this thing she had to tell me, that I might freak out, was I sitting down, etc.; pretty much getting me, mother of a daughter on the other side of the planet, into a lather. She knew full well that I would imagine she had met some Japanese boy and was planning to stay there permanently, or that she was pregnant or something similarly catastrophic. Her evil plan was that the real news–that she had dyed her hair black with red streaks–was a giant relief compared to whatever my panicked brain would manufacture. I guess that she must have forgotten that her mom had dyed her own hair platinum blonde in high school, so it would take a lot more than some hair dye to incite a maternal freak out! Actually, it looked kind of interesting on her…

Tasha Loves her Family
Tasha loves being with her funny, fun family. The big family Thanksgiving at Tom & Susan’s is one of her favorite holiday gatherings. She and I have traditionally been assigned pie detail. Pies, pies, pies: every year we get up early on Thanksgiving morning and make three, four, or even five pies: Pumpkin, Pumpkin Pecan, Banana Cream, Chocolate Cream, Vanilla Cream, Pumpkin Chiffon… Tasha in her apron and me in mine, often with Grandma BB assisting (or supervising, as needed), giggling and working very, very hard to meet our afternoon deadline with enough time to shower and dress for dinner. Tasha’s personal specialties are a Spicy Apple that she adapted herself and Banana Cream. Although she hates making crusts, Tasha will one day soon inherit the mantle of “Pie Queen,” and great rejoicing will fill the land.

TickleMe Tasha
Tasha was (is) unbelievably ticklish. When she was small, I would tickle and poke and make her giggle till she could hardly breathe and tears were starting to well up in her eyes. She’d get completely frantic, struggling to escape my fingers and begging me to stop, sounding like she was about to die. Eventually, I would relent, and Tasha would relax, gasping for air, keeping a wary eye on me. Then she would begin to revive. Slowly, she’d start to smile and get a look of mischief about the eyes and say in a low, mischevious voice, “Do it again.”

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  1. The Hollosphere » Blog Archive » Lolcats, Meow-tzart, and Tessa Leone Croydon:

    […] these foothills who might make a quick snack of a city cat. So Tess went to live with my daughter, Tasha, when I moved to California. This picture was taken by Tasha in the spring of 2007 just after Tess […]

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