My Sammy Boy – at seven and three quarters years old, he is growing so fast that I can’t keep up.  Literally.  He somehow manage to poke holes in all of his jeans, and wear out sneakers faster than I think is reasonable.

I remember when I was pregnant with Sam, but not as vividly as I remember Jessie’s pregnancy and Julie’s.  The plight of the middle child, I guess. I do remember, vividly, when I found out that I was pregnant, and when I announced to my family that year.  He was what I was thankful for, because he was due in the middle of July, and it was the perfect excuse to get me out of the annual camping trip.

And then when he did arrive – I wasn’t ready.  He was over a week early, for starters, and Jessie was close to a week late.  My water broke in the elevator at the hospital, after a routine appointment.  His delivery was baffling to me, Jessie had been a c-section.  I had no idea what I was doing, and I’m still positive that I had nothing to do it.   I went from four centimeters to ten in a half hour, and he was born after twenty minutes of “pushing.”  Although I was just pretending to push, because everyone kept yelling at me, and I didn’t know how to do it.  I think Sam forced his way into the world.  Which is ironic, because his reaction to it wasn’t favorable.

Sam is my child most resistant to change.  Whatever it is, he’d rather it stay that way.  New house, new car, new school.  He’s not interested.  On a gut level, Sam’s pretty sure that the world isn’t entirely safe, and he’d rather stick to what he knows.  Being Sam’s mother has had a bigger impact on who I am as a person than almost anything else.  Because it wasn’t until I had him that I learned how to really stand up for what I knew was right.  To do what he needed, even when it wasn’t what everyone else thought was right.  Everything from nursing him well into toddlerhood, to standing against the rest of the world, when they perceive anxiety and fear as defiance that needed to be quelled or a child that simply needed more discipline.  Being Sam’s mom makes me a stronger, tougher person – because he needed me to be.

But there’s the other side of Sam, the more dominant side.  I never perceived him as particularly anxious until he started school, because when he’s in his comfort zone, he’s the most easy-going relaxed kind of kid.  Gets along with everyone, is ridiculously eager to please and content with his life.  He loves being outside, loves being inside.  He plays video games and loves to be read to.

He’s an animal lover, and the tragedy of his life, thus far, is that we haven’t lived in a place where he can have a puppy.  But he loves nature and trees and birds.  He worships his dad, bugs the hell out of his older sister, and is Julianna’s hero.   He’s smart and capable, trustworthy and funny.

He’s passionately interested in all sorts of stereotypically “boy” things.  If it’s got a weapon of some sort, or involves a ball, he’d like to be doing it.  But he’s equally into cooking, drawing and loves, loves, loves all things dog-related.  As the only boy with four sisters, he’s as comfortable playing with the girls as he is with boys.  In fact, I picked him up at school the other day, and a little girl walked by, grinned at him, and growled “COHEN” at him.

At seven and three quarters, he’s not really a little kid anymore.  He’s got homework and after school activities, and relationships that are completely independent of me.   I see the man he’ll be, not all the time, but occasionally, you can see a glimmer.  He’s so much like his dad, all intensity and stability.  Sam is simply someone you can absolutely count on, and he’s always happiest when he’s in a position to help or assist.  He’s tender and sensitive, and the sweetest little kid I’ve ever known.  And while he’s growing up, so big and bold, he’s still and always will be my buddy and my Boy.

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