Friday, November 21, 2008

Now You Are Ten

Dear Sam,

Yesterday you turned 10. Son, you've crossed over into The Land of Double Digits. I can't believe you're so grown-up. It seems like just the other day you came into this world screaming your head off, announcing that you had arrived. Our lives have been louder because of you. And I mean that in the best possible way. You bring volume to our lives on a daily basis and to this day I've never met a boy that screams as much as you. I hope you grow out of that before you start dating; I'm not sure how girls will respond to that shrill scream on a romantic date.

Sam, you still amaze me on a daily basis. You are one of the most compassionate people on the planet. The only person I know that was this sensitive and caring at this age was your Yaya. I remember once when she was little your Grammy telling me that she'd give anyone the shirt off her back if they needed it or simply even asked. You, my son, are the same way. Your teacher told me at our last conference that you are not happy unless everyone around you is happy and you go to great lengths to include everyone and make sure they're involved and being included. Please, please, please don't ever lose that ability to see other's discomfort in a situation and do something about it.

This week was Book Fair week at school. Your Granny had given you your Christmas money and you simply could not wait to go buy books! I wasn't all that surprised when you proudly showed me the books you bought your sisters for Christmas with your own Christmas money. You didn't have to do that, but it didn't occur to you to do otherwise.

Here's my advice for you as you swiftly approach your pre-teen years: Be yourself, don't worry so much what others think and just do what you think is right. You make sure you're right with God and what you do makes Him happy. Everything else will fall into place after that. Some boys made fun of your teeth awhile back and it just broke your heart. As you related the event to me you had tears in your eyes when you asked, "Why did they have to do that, Momma? I hadn't done anything to them." Son, I can't tell you why they did it - maybe their self esteem is low, maybe they're just mean, maybe they were showing off. Regardless of why they did it you have to know that there are mean people in this world and you will experience them throughout your entire life. I'm 35 and I still encounter mean people. You just have to ignore them, rise above the situation and never let 'em see ya cry.

You are the child I worried I wouldn't have enough room in my heart for. I cried tears upon tears when I was pregnant with you, wondering how in the world I could love two children when I had so much love for your older sister already. It was an irrational worry because as soon as that doctor laid you on my chest and I saw your crooked little nose and gorgeous face.....well, son, there's no way I can explain it to you, but when you have your own children you'll understand completely.

I love you so much,


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Originally published in The Miami News-Record, July 2020 Everything is different now. I’m not just talking about masks and social distancing...