imageFlipping through the TV channels the other evening, we came upon “The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” I felt the need to stop and watch for a few minutes. This was Luke’s show. Every time I see or hear someone mention the ninja turtles, I hear his sweet little boy voice singing:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Turtles in a hap shell
Turtle power!
This last line would be yelled, and yes, I know it’s supposed to be “Turtles in a half shell,” but he was only 4 and this is how he heard it.

We went as a family to see all three movies. Luke was so excited! I think their first movie was the first movie we took him to see. He was quiet through the entire thing because he was mesmerized. His only disappointment was that Michelangelo’s voice was a different actor.

He had many, many action figures of both good guys and bad guys, and each Christmas, this number would go up along with the latest accessories. We still have boxes of these in the basement.

At the time I not only knew all their names, I knew what color they wore and what weapon each used. I also knew the names of all the bad guys and the ancillary good guys. How could I not? This is what mothers do when their kids love something. Besides, he talked about them a lot!

Luke’s favorite was Michelangelo. I think this was because he identified with his smart alec nature.

Sammie used to get Luke to play Barbies with her by promising to play Ninja Turtles with him. Somehow, she always managed to get mad at him and not want to play anymore as soon as he got the guys out.

Luke’s bedroom is right above the living room, and when we first moved into our house, it had a wooden floor. He would play with his turtles and we would hear all the upstairs action as we attempted to watch TV or read. It wasn’t long before his room was carpeted.

Luke had t-shirts, pajamas, and birthday cakes with his heroes on them. His four year old birthday party had a ninja turtle theme. He and all the other kids thought this was great.

In 2011 we took four miniature ninja turtles to Luke’s grave for Christmas. I like to think this made him smile. Unfortunately, we had them still sitting on the dining room table when a workman came into our house fix our home security system. They disappeared. (And, yes, I see the irony.) Why? They had no real value to anyone but us.

So, next time you see or hear about the Ninja Turtles, think of a little boy who loved them that grew to be a greater hero than any of them.