That Sam-I-Am, that Sam-I-Am, I do so like that Sam-I-Am. In fact I love him. Sam or Samuel is our 6 year old son. He drives me completely nuts sometimes, but I wouldn’t swap him.
Sam was born with quicksilver whizzing through his veins. In fact, it was whizzing well before he was born. In the womb he was extremely active, regularly going through a series of rapid leg extensions resulting in kinetic chaos and a very uncomfortable mama.
At two weeks of age he was already trying to hold his head up, very wobbly, but eager to have a look at what was going on around him. I remember at church one morning, a friend was holding him up against her shoulder in the busy café. Sam started jiggling about and she asked what on earth he wanted. I replied that I thought he was trying to see what was going on. And sure enough he was trying to lift the upper part of his body and head so he could see over my friend’s shoulder.
His little body was eager to get going and he crawled at 5 ½ months and took his first steps at 9 ½ months. He was well and truly running by age 15 months, confident stride and all. I have a photo of Sam walking down a beach at Caloundra with me at age 10 months. It seems ridiculous – this baby that looks way too small to be walking, striding (or tottering!) confidently beside his mum.
During babyhood, he acquired the nickname Tigger. Tiggers must bounce and certainly Sam has bounced through life, blissfully ignorant of many things that might be dangerous. Puddles must be splashed in. Fences must be climbed. Open spaces must be run through. Park benches and ledges must be walked on. Open bodies of water must be swum in – clothes and all. The world is a jungle gym. And Tiggers MUST bounce.
Sam is always on hyper alert, wanting to be involved in everything that is happening around him. He loves people and is always seeking interaction with whoever is near. We have often wondered how two introverted parents could have produced such an extroverted kid. One that has no problem going up to a complete stranger, taking them by the hand and chatting as if they were lifelong friends. We took Sam to Southbank, a recreational park on the banks of the Brisbane River when he was about 16 months old. A middle aged German couple were sitting on a low wall and the lady made eye contact with Sam. Our gorgeous boy, all blond hair and blue eyes immediately ran up to her when she held out her arms and gave her a big hug. Another heart captured!
One of the special things about Sam is his ability to make people smile. It is innate. At age 2, I took him to the doctor one day. He had had fevers for a few nights and been generally unwell. Tigger had lost his bounce. As we waited, I noticed a father with a son around 3-4 years of age sitting opposite us. They both looked pale and tired. Dad had his eyes closed. Sam, sick as he was, started pointing to the fire alarm on the ceiling and chattering on about it. “Mummy, look at the beep beep. Chatter chatter beep beep. Chatter chatter beep beep”. Beep beep was his word for fire alarm at that stage of his life. The father and son both looked at Sam and started smiling. His chatter was good medicine.
That is another thing about Sam – his general setting is happy. Yes, he digresses to sad, mad and every other emotion, but he generally springs quickly back to happy. A kindy friend reminded him to bring his smile for the class photo the next day and Sam replied,”I’m always happy!” with his infectious giggle. When he was two years old he would greet the day with,”Hello Sun-shiney!” I maintained that we never had huge issues with tantrums when Sam was a toddler because he simply didn’t have the attention span to have a decent tantrum. He was always quickly onto the next thing. And the next…and the next. And I maintained I had no need for formal exercise. Sam’s mum worked off plenty of energy trying to keep up with Tigger. Tigger you are and a Tigger you will ever be. And Sam-I-Am – I’m glad you’re mine!