Thursday, December 8, 2011


Dear Sam,

You are 23 months old. When I talk to strangers, and they ask how old you are, I've had to start talking in years (He's almost two.) because they struggle to do the math when I say 23 months. I'm talking in years. When did this happen? So quickly, but so slowly. Six months ago, you couldn't walk. Seven months ago, you could barely talk. This afternoon you ran past me in your fuzzy bear slippers that you call your "skates," and shouted "Sammy skatin'! Go! Guys! Go! So fast!" Then you ran into the ottoman and got distracted by the wooden airplane you'd came face to face with when you hit the floor, and the next I heard was "Vrrrrrrrr! Take off!" 

It's been silent around these parts for a little while, but I had to start writing again, because there are some changes coming down the pipeline. These are happy changes, and I'm so excited when I think about the year to come, but I'm also cautious, and I feel preemptively nostalgic for this time before it has even passed. Every day, you take another clumsy step from baby to boy, and you narrate the passage in your own eloquent way. For example, your Daddy is delighted when you announce "FARTED!", while I am partial to the quiet "Bwess you Sammy!" that I hear after you sneeze. 

The baby growing in my belly (which you already kiss) is speeding your inevitable passage to boyhood, as you will soon be a big brother, with all the pride, independence, and perspective that comes along. It will be difficult for me to pretend that you're my tiny baby during the requisite photo opportunity of you holding the newborn baby burrito in your lap while off-camera, a whole chorus of adults entreats you to use gentle hands, and you wonder about the location of those dang goldfish crackers you were promised.

I don't worry that you will lack for love and attention. In fact, I'm 100% confident that your father and I will always have more to give than you could possibly need. Besides that, you have more grandparents than any one child has a right to, and they are all rubbing their hands at the prospect of spoiling you silly under the guise of preventing sibling jealousy when the new little bundle comes along.

No, what I worry about is that this time will not be remembered as clearly as it should be. That I'll think about this as the winter when I was pregnant with your brother or sister, rather than the winter that your personality became more defined and delightful each day. Actually, some of the delight may come in retrospect, unless you are one of those aforementioned grandparents. I really think they live for the tantrum stories.

A few weekends ago, you and I took a trip to Oliver to stay at your Uncle Bryan's place, along with most of my side of the family. Your grandparents, your aunts and uncles, and your cousins were all with us for two days, so there were no shortage of memorable moments and good laughs to take home. However, when I think back on that weekend, the first thing that comes to mind won't be your Uncle Bryan's unsurprising dedication to Swamp People (as awesome as it was), or your Gamma's hysterics during the taped BC Lions game - it will be something much more quiet, just between you and me. At 2:00 in the morning, you couldn't sleep. You, who have woken in the night maybe five times since you were a year old, were wide awake in the room we were sharing, and I was in for a very long night of two hours awake, one hour asleep, two hours awake, repeat until morning. I should have been infuriated, but I was surprisingly calm, having already come to terms with the fact that I will be spending many nighttime hours walking the floor of a nursery in just six months or so. I considered it practice. Around 3:30 in the morning, you took stock of the situation, and this is the bit I will never forget: "Xavier...sleeping. Lucas...sleeping. Gamma...sleeping. Auntie Dee...sleeping. Sam [with big eyes and headshaking]... noooooot sleeping! Mama.... noooooot sleeping!" You said it as though you weren't the rate limiting step, but some puzzled and concerned bystander, and I couldn't stop laughing. Around 6 am, I gave up completely and brought you to bed with me. This was apparently what you were waiting for, as you were asleep before you even finished wiping your nose on my shoulder and cuddling your face into my neck. I laid there for an hour, pretending that your snoring was the reason I was still awake. Pretending that your weight on my chest was a burden.  

Really, I know I don't need to worry. There will be nothing either/or about you and your little brother or sister. Even while I was doing my best to lull you to sleep that night in Oliver, I was also thinking about the little one in my belly, and how I didn't really mind the thought of a newborn looking for snuggles at 2:00 in the morning. (Perhaps I will revisit that sentiment in six months.) All of your personality that I'm so eager to record will make it impossible for you to be overlooked or overshadowed as our family grows. I already see you resolving the problem before it surfaces. As we've been taking about the baby in my belly, and you've been eying my growing bump with interest and suspicion, you've developed a convenient love of baby dolls. You want to talk about them, hold them, and see pictures of them. Sidenote to Google Images: when I searched for "girl with bottle and babydoll" with my son in my lap, I was not referring to lingerie, but thanks for that. 

We were at a playgroup today, where you immediately sought out a baby doll, and spent the next hour and a half towing around your precious bundle of fake eye blinking creepiness - teaching it to walk, reading it a story, and poking those weird, blinky eyes. You were nurturing like a champ, and I have a feeling you'll transfer all that big brother love to the real thing when the time comes, hopefully with a bit less eye poking. There are changes coming, but you'll be ready, and when that time comes, I'll be ready for it, too. By day, you are my big boy, picking up speed and using all those new words to tell me quite literally that "Sammy! Is not! A baby!", but at night, when you can't sleep, I rock you the way I always have, and I sing you the same songs, and you fall asleep snuggled into my neck, snoring in my ear. That isn't going to change.


  1. Looks like Sammy had a good time in Oliver,He is growing up so quickly now and repeats every word .

    We love him dearly ,
    Nanny and Opa

  2. Beautiful! Love, love, love it. Especially Sam's narration. In a psych course I took, it told us that you start forming lifelong memories around the same time you start seeing life autobiographically. Isn't that exciting? Sam might remember the night in Oliver that he and Mommy were the only ones awake for the rest of his life! I'm pretty darn excited for that baby in your belly too. What a lovely family to be entering. Plus Jean will get a new friend and I'll get to knit another robot - maybe in pink this time?

  3. Leslie, when are you going to start writing? As much as I want a buddy for Sam's robot, I would take some typey-typing over the knitting! That's saying a lot!

  4. Writing... yipes! This could be the inspiration I need. So scary though!