Dear Sambino Zamboni,
What a month it's been! You've taken me to the highest of heights of love with your snuggles and loves and questions about life. You've tested the depths of my devotion with your naughty, sneaky behavior. You've fallen asleep in my arms and fought me tooth and nail as I forcibly held you in my arms. Welcome to three and a half.
I know this fierce determination and will is birthing a new independence. As you teeter off-balance, you will regain your center with newfound skill and a sense of who you are. But it's so, so hard to live out day-to-day. It's like Jekyl & Hyde, good & evil, the coyote and the roadrunner all in the same little boy. If it's hard on me, I can't begin to imagine what your little mind and body must be going through. I just wait and pray (and pray and pray), knowing that God is doing a work in you. This is part of becoming who he's created you to be. In the meantime, I get sanctified. :)
Immediately after finding out we were having another boy, my next thought was: another cuddler! You are the loviest, kissiest, snuggliest, most affectionate little fellow. Just today before Maddie ran into her classroom you yelled out, "Maddie! Hug! Kiss!" before running into her arms for one last love before Kindergarten. A dad standing nearby clutched at his heart and sighed, seeing such love! For several weeks you've been asking for extra "nuggles" at night and it is my joy to tuck in beside you, one little boy wiggling in my arms, another moving around in my belly. The two (and a half) of us barely fit on your bed, spooned together, laughing and "nuggling" and enjoying the last moments of the day. I've been trying to be really intentional about taking the time to love on you and not see it as "my time." A few extra minutes means both of our love tanks get filled up.
You are growing in your ability to communicate, which is making for some fun and funny conversations. There's no getting around a statement like "Me no want kisses right now, Mama! How 'bout a high five! Or a hug?" In the car yesterday, we had a long, crazy conversation about moving. You pointed out a "for sale" sign on a house, then asked, "How you hold a house?" (Thinking, how do you pick up a house and take it home after you buy it?) Once you figured out a house stays and a family moves, you decided you wanted to buy a house that comes with lots of legos. We had a long talk in which you determined the following: you want to buy a house in Hawaii, and if we take all our legos and the people we love, you'll be set. Hawaii + legos + friends & family = Happy Sam.
Speaking of communication, apparently you're writing your name now. We have not worked at all on letters at home. You're doing letter recognition at school, but using capital letters. Your teachers are quite impressed that you figured things out, all on your own. Your lowercase "m" and "a" totally impress me. You're amazing, bud! There is so much going on in that brain of yours.
Today I watched you run across the Kinder playground, and I couldn't believe my eyes: my baby boy, my three year-old, ran across that pavement with long, long strides, fast and furious. Your legs looked a mile long as you chased after (and nearly kept up with) five and six year-olds. There was determination and joy on that face as you sprinted after your "friends." I love that you are brave enough to join in the roughhousing of 7 and 8 year-old buddies, and at the same time gentle and tender with the "babies" you meet. Though you are strong and capable, you have a sensitivity that is admirable in a three year-old. I keep waiting for the day you punch a toddler, mimicking ninja play, but you've got it figured out thus far.
You can be so darn naughty but then you turn around and amaze me with your intelligence, your affection, your joy and your gentleness. You can kick over your sister's toy and then turn around and share the biggest piece of your candy bar with her. You can threaten to "punch [me] in da face!" when I deny you something, then lovingly stroke my arm, my face, and tell me "you da best mama in the whole, whole wo-wold." God definitely knew what he was doing in giving me you, wonderfully and fearfully made Samuel Benjamin. Sometimes you scare me, and sometimes you overwhelm me wonder. But most of all you bring me great, great joy. I love being your Mama.