Friday, January 15, 2016

To My 2nd on his 6th (or, at least within two months of it)

Dear Sam,

Happy 6th, My Little! We are as proud as you are for surpassing the age of "babies." Yay you!

 Now, go back to your old self; you know, the one that was a baby and rode on my back and yanked at my hair and woke me up all night and stole my heart. Past tense. :-(

Actually, you still have my heart, I let you ride on my back when we're hiking, and even though you're not a hair-yanking baby anymore, I don't mind that you wake me up in the night (about once a month week). Moreover, you still have my heart, and I will not EVER ask for it back (*note future tense).

Not even if the emails from the principal continue. My favorite from-the-principal email subject lines have been, "a kissing incident" and simply, "behavior."

(I know that verb tenses are the last thing on your mind, but notice them anyway: regrets in the past; hopes/promises for now and always).

Sam, right now you are a study in contrast: Our most cuddly kid but also our most volatile. You struggle with impulse control, especially in high-emotion situations. Luckily, I am relatively understanding, and your dad has lots of experience managing high-needs kids and adults at work and at home

So, I want to make the rest of this positive and about YOU (which is hard for me, Love: I like to spin things with hyperbole and negativity by default). However, for you, I'm making an exception ...

The 6 year old Sam I know is confident, analytical, and curious. I think the confidence part is overriding the others at this point, but we know that it will eventually serve you well, and thus we make attempts to revere it. You love to play games -- chess with "Dadda," John, our kidsitter, Grampy; GO FISH and  OLD MAID with all of us, MEMORY with Macy, JENGA with Nanny and Grampy --  your scope of work is dizzying, truly!  The only advice I'll give you about improving this aspect of your free time is that you should probably consider alternatives to "You're cheating!" when competitors seem to be getting the best of you.

Your analysis of everything (complete with exemplary hand gestures) is something that I would be remiss to overlook, so I definitely want you to know that you are constantly considering every angle of every situation. This keeps us on our toes. Most obviously this character trait is presented in your eating habits, so that mostly demands our attention. I know that avoiding "the turkey with the crust" and the soy sauce with the red top is of utmost importance, and I don't take those jobs lightly. Luckily, your dad doesn't either ... especially since he's the grocery shopper. (I'm still working to figure out my superpower).

Finally, Sam, your curiosity is one of my favorite features of you. You want to know what everything means -- from vocabulary to major concepts like death. Recently, I was reading a parenting book called Why Can't You Catch Me Being Good and the author told about how each of her two sons, when they were five, asked her to marry him. I teared up because neither of my two sons had done that. I sat for a long time thinking about that and feeling sorry for myself because whatever I had done thus far in both of your lives had not made you consider me in that manner. And then the next day -- the VERY next day -- we were snuggling after playing a vicious game of air hockey (without the air), and you asked me the same. I nearly melted into the couch cushion. And so, like the writer of the book, I told you that I was already married to your dad and that unfortunately, you'd have to find another girl. You looked so sad and stared up at me with those squinched up eyebrows and said, "But WHY? Why can't you marry me too. I love you too! Not just dad loves you!" 

I know, sweet. I know it even when you scream that you hate me. Because that's how it works with us. We love each other no matter what -- another of your favorite sayings. (The hate thing still stings though, so maybe work on that a little?)

Dadda and I are so proud of how hard you work to be the kid that you want to be. The one who controls himself, uses words not hands, and apologizes, or better yet, doesn't have to. You have us wrapped around your little finger so much so that even when you bring that goshawful rancid blanket ("Sucky") into our bed at 2 a.m., we just scooch over and make way. Even when you then sleep like a Starfish on cocaine, we don't kick you out. The space in our bed and in our hearts has already been made for you, and even though you are not a baby, you'll always be our baby.

With all my love,

p.s.  Y.M.B.C.F.A. (don't tell!)

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