The Year of Sam

sam_standingwill_sam.jpgA moment and an eternity.

That’s what it’s felt like, Sam, since you entered our lives exactly one year ago. One year. That amount of time has never seemed so brief and simultaneously endless. Fleeting yet perpetual. And if we’re being honest, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows.

I endured your first year just as much as I enjoyed it. I’m not particularly proud of that, but it’s the truth.

You had colic and didn’t sleep well. You scared the shit out of us with a stint in the hospital. And frankly, I failed to bond with you like I did with Will. But someday, when you read this, I want you to know that’s on me and not you. And don’t think for a second we ever regretted having you, because you are amazing. It just took me a while to see how lucky I was and get over my selfishness.

Will was easy. But you, my little Sammy, are not. Where Will is hesitant and bashful, you are bold and fearless. Where he is slightly timid, you are a tornado and no matter where we set you loose, you wreak havoc. But one is not better than the other. In fact, I’m finding out the challenges you present make overcoming them that much sweeter because you make me actively work to be a better dad way. You make me a better person.

The good news is where I have failed, your mother has come through like a champ.

She suffered from postpartum depression with your brother, but this time around she has been Queen Mom. I’ve never been more proud of her, watching her shine and excel in her new role as stay-at-home mom. And you are so lucky to have her. So am I, for that matter.

But where you’re luckiest, Sam, is how fortunate you are in the big brother department.

It has been the honor of my life watching you and Will together. Nothing makes my heart swell more than the sight of you two together, laughing and smiling at things only the two of you understand. Will has taken to his role like a duck to water. He’s so patient and careful with you, and you love him so much. I couldn’t be happier watching you two play together, and although you’ll fight in the future I also think you’ll be the best of friends.

As for me, I want to apologize and thank you Sam. I’m sorry for the struggle this past year. I wasn’t a bad dad, but I wasn’t a great one either. And you deserve my best. But the good news is I’m going to work to be better and improve. Because we waited so long for you and now that you’re here, there’s no way I’m going to drop the ball again.

I love the little guy you’ve become. It’s so much fun to make you smile and see your toothy grin. I like the game we play in which we scream at each other and laughingly match pitch. I yell “gorilla baby!” and you beat your chest, which is fundamentally awesome. Watching you walk around and get stronger with each step does my heart good, and I’m so proud of you.

And the best part is, better days are ahead. But for now, happy birthday my beautiful baby boy. You completed our family in a way I only ever imagined. I love you.



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2 thoughts on “The Year of Sam

  1. I was wondering where you had gotten to! This post reminded me to send my daughter an email (to an account she’ll be granted access to at a much later date) telling her how truly blessed I am by her presence.

  2. Beautifully done and honest as always. Your stories of Will and Sam resonate with me because they hit so close to home. Our first son had just turned 4 when our second son was born. We didn’t truly appreciate how easy “J1” was until “J2” arrived — whereas our first was always calm and reasonable, and a good sleeper from the start, the new baby was a handful. He is still a handful as he approaches his 4th birthday. But he is an adorable, precocious, unique free spirit and we try to appreciate each of their qualities and not compare them to each other (at least in front of them), so as not to make them feel they are competing to be “the best son”. We told our son, before his brother was born, that they might not always get along and they undoubtedly would fight as all brothers do, but that he should treasure the fact that very soon he was going to be his little brother’s hero and that his brother was going to love and look up to him more than anyone else in the world. I am happy to report that our prediction has come true already. It sounds like Will and Sam are on their way there, as well, and I am so happy for them that they have each other. Happy Birthday, Sam, and job well done, Will.

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