September 27, 2011

A Letter Overdue Part 1: Sam

Dear Sam,

I've been meaning to sit down and write this for almost five months. Every year, I try to write you a letter on your birthday. Maybe one day you'll enjoy reading them, and I love being able to look back and see what you were doing and who you were becoming each year as we celebrated your birth. Now, suddenly, it's the end of July and you have been five years old for almost three months.

Five suits you well. You are still a bean pole - knobby knees and a waist so small your pants fall if we're not careful! You're tall for your age, and when you hug me standing up now your head rests between my belly and my chest. You've grown up some, but you're still so affectionate. You give me all the hugs I can handle, and you recently invented something called a "super kiss" where you kiss very noisily many times in a row.  When I wake you up for school in the morning, I carry you into the living room and we sit on the couch together and cuddle while you watch a show. 

Sometimes I forget how much you're growing up, but then I'm snapped back to reality by something. The other night at dinner, Daddy suddenly noticed that you'd lost your first tooth! Sure enough, there is a big space in the very front of your bottom teeth. That night I wondered how it could possibly be that I have a boy old enough to be losing his baby teeth.  You've gotten really smart too - you're already doing some math and know all your letters, now you're starting to learn about words.

You challenge me a lot because you want to know what things mean that I've known the meaning of for years and years.  Recently, you asked me what 'cancel' means, but that was a fairly easy one.  When you ask me why I'm always telling you what to do and what it's time for, I hear myself telling you it's because I'm the parent.  I guess you can't understand why parents say that until you're a parent yourself.

Now, you're in Kindergarten.  I am a little shocked at how well you've adjusted to getting up at 6:30 every day and spending an entire day in school.  On the first day, you got on the bus like you'd done it a million times even though it was a new stop and a big bus.  We had a little hiccup on the second day when you didn't get off and I had to go pick you up at the end of the route, but you were pretty unfazed by it all.  I love that when I ask you how school was today, your answer is always 'fun!'

I pack a lunch for you every day, but today you forgot it and got hot lunch.  You're still a picky eater, but luckily today was hot dogs.  Which meant you ate a bun and milk for lunch, but that's better than nothing.  It's so strange to hear you talk about standing in line for hot lunch and to walk the halls of your school and join the PTA.  Sometimes, I am caught off guard by having children at all, let alone one who is old enough to be in Elementary School!  I just don't know how it happened!

It's been a long road, but you've peed in the potty three times now.  It's hard for you because you have some sensory differences and the pressure of holding it in feels good to you.  But it seems like you're slowly starting to learn how and when you need to let go.  I can't wait for the day that you do it every time and Grandma Edie told you when you go in the potty for a month she's going to take you to Disneyland - how fun will that be?! 

With Kindergarten comes other kids, and let me tell ya, I am getting a taste of things to come.  You've met some friends at the bus stop, but there is one boy in particular I'm not sure about.  I worry about you because you are a little different, and I am afraid the other kids will not be nice about it.  I am your Mom, it's my job to worry.  You're such a happy little boy, and I don't want that to change.  Sometimes, I don't want you to have to learn about the heartaches that can happen in the world.  I love you so much, but I know I can't protect you forever.  That won't stop me from wanting to - I don't think that will ever change.

You love to play the Wii, your favorites right now are Donkey Kong Country Returns and Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars.  Your favorite thing to watch right now are old Mario Brothers cartoons and two specific episodes of Community - the claymation Christmas special and the one with the time hoodie.  Your favorite foods haven't changed, and your favorite ice cream is plain vanilla.  You love to read books, and still love the Magic Treehouse books.  You got your own library card recently and checked out a bunch of books.

There are so many things that I want to remember about you, which is one reason I write these letters.  But every year I know that I'm leaving out a thousand things I'd love to remember about you.  You are still such a great little boy, and I can't wait for all of the adventures we're going to have while you're in school!

Happy Birthday, sort of... maybe next year your letter will be on time, but you and your brother keep me so busy!


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