Letter to Samuel: Five

Dear Sam,

FIVE! You have been anxious to turn five since some of your best buddies hit the milestone age during school last year. Five means so many things. It means you are big enough to dress yourself and pour a glass of milk and climb to the top of the spider’s web and memorize the code to unlock my iPad. But it also means that you still need kisses on booboos and songs before bedtime. It means you’re not too big to hold my hand when we walk downtown for ice cream cones, or ask to snuggle Ricky when you’re tired.


You have grown so much this past year. It seems like you got tall and thin overnight. It’s not uncommon to watch you eat three bowls of spaghetti for dinner, then request cereal with bananas and raisins and honey before bed.

You have a wild imagination that almost always involves an epic battle. You line up your LEGOs and action figures and act out scenes from movies (most recently, Star Wars). Everything has the potential to become a light saber. You collect objects from around the house — like my camera tripod, a fabric belt, plastic hangers, and clothespins — and construct devices to capture your stuffed animals or booby trap your pillow fort. Fortunately, Nora doesn’t mind playing along with your scenarios. You hold her prisoner in your bedroom, or pile blankets on top of her while she lays on the couch because she was “injured in battle.”


You have no trouble finding adventures in our small backyard. You collect “crystals” and plant apple seeds. You race from the deck to the back fence and jump off the sandbox and over the railing. You ride your scooter and push Nora on the tricycle. You toss rocks into the wagon and launch plastic darts all over the yard.

You are our nature lover, our explorer, our trail blazer. When we go on hikes, you use your spy vision goggles to spot the trail markers and look for American Ninja Warrior obstacles.

You are inquisitive. You ask questions about sharks and jellyfish. How did Baby Evie get into Mommy’s belly, and how did she get out. Why is that building made of glass, and what’s inside of it. How do you spell Batman, and what’s 2 + 3. Why is there smoke coming out of that house (which was actually steam on a particularly chilly morning), and maybe Darth Vader is inside.

You love to help in the kitchen — from cracking eggs to brewing beer to making “veggie animals.”


You have become very, very good at constructing LEGOs. And if you get a new set, you have to build it immediately. What you are not so great at yet, is keeping the sets together. Mommy is still trying to come up with an organized way to store all of the tiny pieces you have accumulated — especially before Baby Evie begins to crawl.


You love all sports: soccer, baseball, basketball, swimming. You do handstands and cartwheels and tabletops. You climb the spider’s web and try really hard to swing across the monkey bars. You paddled your very own kayak at the shore this summer and rode a skate board, with a little help from Daddy. You request to run with Mommy, though you only know one speed: fast! You surprised all of us and jumped into Uncle Steve’s pool a few weeks ago. I yelled, “I’m not sure if he can swim!” But you popped right up and swam over to the ladder.


You are not capable of walking around town — it’s like your very own parkour obstacle course. You skip over the cracks in the sidewalk, climb the stone wall, weave in and out of the shrubs, jump the fence and run across the lawn of the church, hang from every bike rack. I’m exhausted just thinking about our walks to and from school.

You adore your sisters. Nobody makes them laugh — or scream — like you do. I love to watch you hold Evie’s hand while you walk beside the stroller, or put a protective arm around Nora while watching a “scary” movie. Of course, I also spend many hours of the day playing referee, breaking up fights between you and Nora, and monitoring the two of you around your baby sister.


You love dates with Mommy. And, when we have the chance, I love to take you for ice cream, or spend an afternoon at the museum. Daddy also looks forward to one-on-one time with you, building LEGOs or doing math problems or battling with light sabers.


You still talk about the candle that you broke because you tossed a ball at the mantle. And when you forgot to close the van door just before a big storm, which left pools of water in the car seats and sticks and leaves all over the floor.

Speaking of storms, you have become very interested in them ever since I hustled you all to the basement during a tornado watch. Now if you see the slightest sign of wind, you ask me to check the radar and track the weather on a notepad that you have taped to the window.

A few more Samisms: You always request to “test taste” cookie dough and brownie batter. You know the importance of applying “sun cream” before swimming. You still say “constructions” instead of instructions. Shortly after Evie was born, you asked “When you sit, is your belly bigger than your pants? Because mine is.” (Oh, Sam, you have no idea.)


I love you, bud. Even on our toughest days, I am so proud to be your momma.








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