Saturday, November 24, 2007

And now you're 9

Dear Sam,

Bless your little heart, you have drawn such a rotten spot in the family that not only are you the middle child, but you were also born right smack in the middle of the Thanksgiving holiday. Your little sister was born just five days before Christmas and her whole life we've made insanely annoying efforts to differentiate between her birthday and the holiday, but somehow your birthday still manages to get lost in the insanity that is our dysfunctional family at Thanksgiving. However, that whole being the middle child thing has made you so sweet and understanding that you just roll with it. Thank you. And bless you. A lot.

You not only drew a spot in-between two sisters, but you also managed to get the middle spot in Mom's grandkids as well. You don't have any choice but to be flexible and easy-going. That's not always been the case, though....

When you were a baby I was convinced you were posessed. Or at least broken. Son, you were not all the way out of my body before you let out your first blood-curdling, hair-raising scream and it was downhill from there. You were a screamer. Actually "screamer" just doesn't adequately describe what you were when you were an infant. There are no words to adequately describe the noises you made, I'm afraid. You never really cried all that much, but the screaming - you screamed when you were happy, sad, angry, hungry, tired, well-rested and if Elmo had walked in and presented you with a lifetime supply of Oreos, you'd have still screamed. I remember one particular family vacation when there were 9 of us in a rented condo looking forward to some relaxation and fun, but you decided that that was the particular weekend that you were going to practice making me want to bang my head against something hard. At one point, after you had screamed and hollered for what seemed like endless hours, your Grammy walked out of the room and patted me on the arm and said, "It's a good thing I love that little shit because I sure don't like him very much." It was that next week that I made an appointment with your pediatrician and when that poor woman walked into the exam room I held you out to her at arm's length and said, "Fix him. He is broke." She laughed, but I didn't. In fact, I believe I busted into tears. I was convinced you were deaf - that was the only plausible reason in my exhausted mind that would explain why you screamed virtually nonstop. However, she looked you over from head to toe, did all kinds of little tests to check your hearing, played with you awhile and you charmed her socks right off. When she was done, she picked you up, kissed your head, handed you back to me and said, "Sweetie, he's not broke. He just likes the sound of his voice. Just try to enjoy him until he gets tired of it." And years later, I can't tell you exactly when you outgrew the screaming. Maybe you just got tired of your voice all of the sudden and maybe you gradually phased out the screaming. However it happened, I'm glad it did. I love you and all, but wow, you were loud.

Sam, you're an amazing child. You are giving and kind, yet you are obnoxious and annoying - usually in the same breath. I will never understand the complexities that make up you, my son, and frankly, it's probably better that way. It adds to the whole package, I think. You are a charmer, no doubt, and the teachers at school and your classmates love you and your personality. Sometimes we call you "Eddie Haskell" because you tend to overdo some compliments every now and then....okay.....a lot....but as your mother, I have every right to blame it on the fact that you are the middle child. I will use birth order to explain away you and your sister's behavior until someone with a lot of letters after his name tells me I can't. So, again, it's because you're the middle child that you try so hard to please everyone. And tell them they're pretty. And smart. And the best mother/father/teacher/aunt/etc. in the world. And my, those are lovely pearls you're wearing, Mrs. Cleaver.

I don't know what God holds in His hands for you, Sam, but I just have this feeling in my heart it's going to be something amazing. I mean, I hope your sisters do wonderful things, too, but something in me says that you're going to do amazing things for other people. It's just your nature. Your Grammy has said for years she thinks you'll end up being a minister or pastor and it's funny, but you have mentioned a desire to do that as well. Lately you've been asking lots of questions about God and salvation and how will you know when God is talking to your heart. As a mother, I want to be able to know exactly what to say in every situation and answer all of your questions the right way, but in this case I repeatedly answer you with, "You'll just know." And it's the truth, however frustrating it is to you. Just be patient.

You've also mentioned that you want to be a solider when you get old enough. The patriotic part of me thinks that would be wonderful. You would serve our country well. But the momma in me wants to grab you so tight and scream NO and forbid you from going within 500 yards of an Army recruiter's office. But as hard as it will be, if the time comes that you decide to become a solider.....well, I'll probably cry a lot, but I will be the proudest mother to ever live.

I am so happy that you're my son. Most days you are the one that makes me throw my head back and laugh really loud. You are dorky and corny and you get easily frustrated when things don't work out the way you think they should. You suck at your times tables and love Captain Jack Sparrow - wow, you're me. I cannot resist kissing your head and the smell of your sweaty little-boy hair makes me happy to be alive. I never dreamed that a little boy with big teeth and freckles would make me feel like the luckiest woman on earth.

Happy birthday, son. I love you.




Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry said...

That's beautiful, Kristin!

Happy Birthday, Sam!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, hard to have a birthday around the holidays! I get to share mine with my mother, we're 2 days apart and right in the middle of the Thanksgiving holiday as well. There's also a cousin thrown in the mix, between me & mom. You never get the day to yourself. You always have a cake that is shared with someone else, never one with only your name on it. But, it's ok - family is the most important thing!

Anonymous said...

Huh. My sister was a middle child with a boy at either end, and she was treated something akin to a god made flesh. I guess boys are just more understanding.

Rachel said...

So sweet.
It's hard being born around the holidays. Happy very belated birthday!

GoMommy said...

One of the most beautiful, honest letters to a son!

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