Everyone always talked about Zaid being an old soul. He had a knack for finding a way to relate to anyone, no matter their personality or age. He was always able to find a special, unique way to connect with everyone he met.
Where we were always sort of casually religious, Zaid was innately spiritual. He could sit happily for hours in church, and anytime he saw a cross (whether it be a crucifix or merely intersecting grout lines in a floor) he would excitedly exclaim, “Yay-soos! Mwah!” and blow a kiss.
He loved many of the things that most 2 year olds do, like construction vehicles and emergency vehicles, and was able to differentiate between the approaching sirens of fire trucks, ambulances, and police cars. He also loved blue butterflies, ever since being introduced to them when he was 4 months old at the Butterfly Conservatory in Key West, Florida. He inherited his father’s passion for the Jets and the Yankees. When he was a little over a year and started watching baseball regularly with his dad, “Yankees” was too difficult for him to say, but he always heard the crowd cheering “C.C.!” for C.C. Sabathia when he pitched. Zaid knew “C.C.” was something he could say easily, and joined in the cheering. From that moment on, the Yankees were known as the “C.C.s” in our house! Music was his favorite, and the one toy he would consistently play with every day was his guitar.
He also had his idiosyncrasies, such as his love of Tarzan and The Hunchback of Notre Dame over your more standard Disney fare. Zaid never crawled, and instead scooted around on one knee with the other foot in front of him propelling his body forward, prompting his father to jokingly call him Quasimodo, so his interest in the Hunchback was actually quite appropriate! His absolute favorite character was Curious George; he was always drawn to classic children’s characters, such as Winnie the Pooh and Thomas, and showed little interest in modern day cartoons, aside from Daniel Tiger and the Minions.
He hated tomato sauce but would gobble up pasta with pesto. Zaid loved The Count more than Elmo, and Halloween was his favorite holiday. Christmas was okay in his mind, as long as it was about decorating the tree (we had to keep a felt tree up on the wall all year), or the Grinch, whom he loved, despite being totally freaked out by the idea of Santa Claus. He loved tools, but not as much as small kitchen appliances, and nothing more than the DustBuster. He was great at making a mess, but hated being messy. Zaid’s first full sentence when he was a year and a half was actually, “Oh no, Mama, it’s a mess!” when his watermelon accidentally touched his mac and cheese on his high chair tray.
He was born December 8, 2013, 10 days overdue and on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. On May 4th, 2016, we picked him up a little early from daycare because he woke up from his nap with a bit of a fever. Despite being under the weather, he refused to leave “Ro’s House” until he finished his favorite snack of Pirate’s Booty popcorn. We gave him some Tylenol, and he was his typical happy, loving, energetic self for the rest of the evening. He snuggled with us on the couch for an extra long time before we brought him upstairs and put him to bed. On May 5, 2016, on The Feast of the Ascension, Zaid never woke up. He was (is) the light of our lives and we miss him terribly.