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Mar 10

My Sammy

I was shocked when Sam was born, and confused.  We hadn’t found out before he was born, if he was going to be a boy or a girl, but secretly, I was certain he was a she.  I had already done this once, and had a girl.  Marc had two girls from his first marriage.  Of course, he’d be a girl.

But he wasn’t – and I spent the first few days baffled by the fact that I now had a son.  He was healthy and gorgeous, as you can see…

I often say that Sam came out of the womb with separation anxiety, because he did.  From the very first moment, Sam knew exactly who he was, who I was, and the only place he felt safe or calm was in my arms.  It’s a heady responsibility – to be someone’s whole idea of safety and security.  And after seven years and seven months – I can say only that Sam has taught me more about myself and about motherhood and about bravery and strength of will than I ever dreamed I would learn.

Because Sam is growing so fast, it’s easy sometimes to forget that he was once this tiny little thing, who never strayed far from my side.  I find that we gravitate towards each other at bedtime.  Not every night, but every couple of nights… one of the two of us will go find the other and just snuggle up for a bit.  Last night, he had gone to bed and just couldn’t fall asleep.  And eventually, he wandered into my room.  All frustrated and ready to fight, because he was so tired.  He was insisting that Marc make him dinner (again) because he was still hungry.  I called him into my bedroom, and asked him to just lay down for a quick second with me, and once he stretched out on the bed with me, his eyes shut, and he was fast asleep within minutes.  He wasn’t hungry, he just needed a little reconnection time.

I get a lot of one on one time with Julie – because she’s three, and her idea of a good time is still hanging next to me.  And Jessie and I connect in a lot too.  But I find that Sam is, more and more, just as happy to be elsewhere in the house.  We’ve recently rearranged his bedroom, and put the third television in there (we need a playroom but don’t have space, so the kids alternate having the television set in their room).  And he adores his bedroom, he  builds little nests and forts, and hangs out in there a lot.   When he’s not hanging in there, he’s busy doing something else.   Marc and he are still working their way thru Book Five in the Harry Potter series, and he and Julie spend a lot of time playing together.

I miss my little boy.  Because he’s big now, and so much more independent than he’s ever been before.  And it’s a constant dance, isn’t it?  Getting used to this new person – because all of a sudden, my little boy isn’t a little boy anymore.  He’s a big seven year old boy – and he’s almost eight.   He’s so smart and so sweet, and so much more confident and secure.  He’s better able to hold his own when Jessie gets snarky, and still so incredibly nurturing with Julianna.  He’s growing up, and it’s bittersweet for me.

With Sam, not necessarily more so than with the girls, but on a different level, I was his whole center.  I was his whole idea of safety and security.  With every baby, it’s like that, but Sam took a lot longer to move past that.  He’s probably always going to be a little trepidatious about trying new things, but more and more, he’s able to try new things.  Relax more.  Trust that the world isn’t dangerous and scary, and that he’s capable of a lot more than he realized.

Watching him grow – it’s a gift that I never tire of – and one that I never take for granted.  His journey isn’t always, or even often, easy – and I’ve worried and worried and over analyzed and read far too many books on it – because struggling with anxiety is harder than I ever imagined it would be.  Raising a child who struggles with it is harder than I ever imagined it would be.  But as with most things – the harder the journey, the more you appreciate it.  His victories are sweeter because he works so hard for them, and as much as I miss my little koala baby – the smart, confident, secure boy I’ve got now is more than I ever dreamed of.

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