By the time I was fifteen weeks pregnant with him, Sam was moving around so much that Art could see my tummy jump. Five weeks later we discovered that Kumquat, our little nickname for the baby in my belly, was a boy. As the summer progressed I grew bigger and bigger. We taught Ryan that his baby brother was in my tummy, and he would hug me and give kisses to his “Day-dee duh-doh.”
October 8, 2004 finally came. I was swollen and big. My back hurt constantly. The constant motion which had been cute at fifteen weeks had lost some of its cuteness at 39 weeks. It was time.
It took some convincing to get the nurses to believe I actually wanted an epidural. I guess it may seem weird to people who know me, but I’m not a loud laborer. I don’t scream or cry out in pain, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel it. Finally I made them understand that I really did want the pain to stop, and once the epidural was in place I took a very nice nap while my body contracted and made way for the newest member of our family.
It was all so easy. With Ryan, I pushed and pushed and thought I was going to die of exhaustion and pain. With Sam, I pushed a few times and there he was, shrieking protests at being brought into such a noisy, bright universe.
He was a beautiful baby. Dark hair covered his head– dark hair so soft you couldn’t help but nuzzle it. His eyes were open and he looked around from the shelter of my arms and a soft blanket. Within hours he was showing off the strength he had demonstrated in my womb by holding his head right up off my shoulder when I was burping him.
We named him Samuel John, and I at least was overwhelmed with how quickly my heart grew to encompass this little person who had joined our family.
It has been four years. That child who was such a mystery to me when they first placed him into my arms has become an indispensable member of our family, although he certainly still mystifies us sometimes. He is his own little person, sweet, funny, affectionate. And today is his birthday.
So let me tell you about my Sam.
He rides his trike so fast that I am very afraid it will fly apart one of these days.
He still substitutes the word “my” for the word “I” in sentences, and although I am sure that he should have outgrown that a long time ago, I can’t bring myself to correct him. It’s one of the last vestiges of baby still hanging about him.
He is patient and sweet and forgiving, up to a point. After that point he is a terror.
Last night he fell out of bed, and when I went in to make sure he was all right he looked at me like he had no clue why in the world I had bothered to check on him. He had already gotten back in bed and was halfway back to dreamland.
He sucks his thumb, still, with a vengeance. Actually he sucks either thumb, and he’s proud of it, even though he knows I want him to stop.
He is always ready to stop what he’s doing and come for a hug or a kiss, and possibly a tickle, if I don’t warn him it’s coming.
He is a night owl, lucky boy, who gets to share his bedroom with a morning person. I’m sure you can imagine how well that works.
He has a vivid imagination and likes to pretend that he is any of a variety of animals, from chick to fish to dog.
He eats his boogers and thinks it’s funny. Also, he thinks tooting is funny, and peeing on my foot when he turns to tell me something during a potty break.
He is ornery and a pain in the neck and he makes me tired, but his smile and his hugs and his constant professions of love for Mommy make it all worth it.
Happy Birthday, Big Guy.
(He is holding up four fingers in this picture, and yes, that is a smile, I swear I wasn’t pinching him or anything. I hope he’s not going to be all about the cheesy grins like his brother is!)
ETA: My husband made a photo montage of the last year of Sam’s life, it’s super cute and you should totally check it out.