I have had a blog post about Sam’s coming of age sitting in draft since Sam turned four. And five came and went, amidst the busy-ness of life and me going away to a conference days after his birthday. So, with no further ado, I will aim to publish something before he turns seven…
As of 14 June, our firstborn is officially a big six year old. Six years since this gorgeous boy came into the world, offering himself up as a guinea pig to his first-timer parents. Six years since I went four days overdue and wondered whether this baby would ever arrive. Six years since he turned our world upside down in the best possible way and made us a Mum and Dad.
Love birthdays are generally pretty low key. It’s how we roll. But, after the year this kid has had, turning six seemed like a good enough reason to celebrate on a slightly larger scale.
On the Friday afternoon before his birthday, we invited Sam’s whole Prep class and their siblings for a play and afternoon tea at a local park. Always slightly stress-inducing to invite 40 children and their parents anywhere, but it was a lovely, relaxed afternoon. As ‘SuperSam is turning Six’, we decided on an S theme and many of the kids came dressed in an outfit starting with S. And what did Sam, decked out in a Superman outfit, want for his cake? A boomerang, of course ;) So I did my usual trick of making a cake with love and not talent and whipped up a boomerang. There are only a few blurry iPhone pictures of the very-non-Pinterest-worthy party, but rest assured the birthday boy had a blast.
Waking up on the real birthday morning, Sam was very excited to open his much-campaigned-for gift of a Skylander Swapforce game and then go with Dad to pick up a pre-loved Wii console donated by a lovely friend. It was a beautiful rainy Saturday, perfect weather for two brothers to work out how to play a new computer game.
Later that afternoon, the Festival of Sam continued and our extended family came over for cake on our verandah. With our boys having sixteen cousins, family affairs are never particularly small, but we love celebrating with our big, noisy family – and it’s especially fitting for our very-social Sam.
It’s difficult to sum up our eldest son in a paragraph, or even a whole blog post. How do I put into words someone who takes up so much of my heart, how do my words do justice to this incredible gift we have been given.
As a snapshot of Sam at six years old, he is the king of collecting random, small items, and would buy new toys every day of the week if he could. He’s currently not at all concerned about the environmental impact of plastic. He is a social butterfly and starts most days asking who we’re seeing and where we’re going (and, if no plans, can we make them?). While he can be the most divine big brother to Nicholas, he relentlessly pursues the title of Master Antagoniser to Charlie (and, yet, they have beautiful moments together too). He loves to craft, has a soft spot for glitter and neon coloured nailpolish, and embraces new fads with wild abandon. Upon hearing a song somewhere, he will ask for the track to be downloaded on my iPhone and play it regularly, often on repeat. He is equally happy running around madly and playing soccer with the boys, or hanging out with the girls, writing and drawing. He loves soft cheeses and will independently prepare platters of nibbles for our afternoon family sessions in the backyard. He is the first to notice when I’ve had a haircut, the first to tell me I look nice when I appear in a new dress. He’ll make someone a good husband one day.
Sam has embraced his pioneering role as first child from an early age, always pushing things to the next level when he was ready for a new challenge. Whether it was time to stop wearing nappies, upgrade from a three-wheel to two-wheel scooter, or ditch the training wheels on his bike, rest assured Sam was usually ready for the new phase before his Mum and Dad, and we’ve no doubt this trend will continue as he grows.
In some ways, Sam is incredibly independent and capable. He can get himself dressed and make breakfast without being asked, follows directions well and consistently proves himself to be trustworthy. In other ways, he’s still our baby and, as he has always been since he was tiny, is happiest when he’s busy and engaged in projects directly with Ben and I. “Mum, what can you and I do?” is one of his most favourite phrases. He drives us nuts – oh yes, regularly – but we wouldn’t change him.
In a post-event wrap-up after the party with his Prep friends, I asked Sam what he liked best about the afternoon – to which he replied, “giving presents to the kids”. Champagne Sam. Instead of lolly bags, the Prep kids were asked to choose a gift from a lucky dip basket of things Sam had selected for them. He is a true giver of gifts. Whether it be writing a note for Ben and I, delivering chocolates and pumpkin soup to our sick neighbours, or making a Rainbow Loom band for someone he meets at the hospital, Sam is kind and generous. His blue eyes twinkle at the thought of helping someone.
I could talk about how amazingly resilient he’s been over the past ten months since the Leukaemia diagnosis, how he charms the doctors and how the nurses fight over being his ‘girlfriend’, how he gracefully puts up with numerous tests and procedures that no child should have to endure. But, the truth is, I thought he was a pretty awesome kid before all that happened.
Sam Love, you are a beautiful soul and I am so so proud to be your mum. Not sure how I got so lucky, but I’m so glad you chose me. Happy birthday, darling heart.
If you know Sam, I’d love if you could leave a comment below and share a Sam story or memory of him at any age. If you don’t know him, feel free to leave a birthday message for me to pass on to our big six year old! x