I have vivid memories of a very, very long labour. I remember being so frozen from the epidural that I couldn't walk for 48 hours. I remember desperately pushing for well over 2 hours to try and get him out so he would be born on Thanksgiving (didn't happen). I remember scaring the heck out of my family because after 36 hours of labour and Sam being sent to the NICU, I was terrified and exhausted and just wanted everyone to go home. I remember how scared my husband and my step-daughter were. I remember my mom wearing sunglasses because her eyes were swollen from crying. I remember being afraid to take Sam home from the hospital after 3 days because I believed the NICU nurses could take better care of him than I. I remember sitting in the back seat of the car, draped protectively over the car seat, all of a sudden fearful that we would get in a car accident on the way home from the hospital. I remember desperately trying to nurse this little creature at just 5 lbs 12 ounces who would NOT latch on no matter how hard I tried or cried, or how many people tried to help. I remember the first time our eyes met and he looked right into my soul. I remember when I finally realized that I wasn't going to break him. I remember his first bath, the first time he grasped my finger, our first kiss, his first laugh, the first time he ate cereal and giggled the entire time I fed him. I remember the first time he rolled over and the first time he swatted at a toy dangling over his head. I remember how my heart stopped when he fell out of his high chair (I was almost sick to my stomach from fear & guilt). I remember holding my tiny little man while he slept soundly, rocking gently back and forth in the rocking chair in his room, in the dark, and being completely at peace. I remember the day I realized that it's not all about me... it's all about him.
And now he is a little man, just turning two, and I am the happiest I have ever been in my entire life. I love to watch him play, learn, laugh, discover, make new friends and talk to strangers. I love when he walks down the street with his arms swinging wildly. I love to watch him trying to learn how to skip, or run in the grass without falling, or trying to figure out his colours (when in doubt just say "blue") and trying to count his way up the 13 stairs in our house (he seems to forget numbers 4 and 5). I love when he says "MUAH" loudly when we kiss, or "WEEEEE" when he goes down the slide. I love watching his face as he tries to figure out his emotions. How his little brow furrows when I say it's time to leave the park or how his face lights up when I walk into the room. I love how enthusiastically he says "YEAH!" when I ask him if he wants to go outside and play, and when we are having a conversation and he says "Good Idea!".
I have a difficult time remembering what my life was like before Sam came into it. I know I was happy, my husband and my family make me very happy, but I don't think I was fully satisfied. Having Sam has given me something that I was trying to find for years. Years of changing boyfriends, jobs and careers. Years of travelling and moving around. Years of living in different houses, apartments & cities. All the time searching...
I have found what I was looking for and his name is Sam. I love you Little Man! Happy Birthday.