Who are you?
Somehow today my husband had 3 of his old college friends in the same city, in the same house (ours), at the same time. Between friends moving around from place to place and our new addition, which has pretty much left us completely out of contact with our “before Sam” friends, it has been a long time for Hubby and all these guys to get together and go to the park to throw the frisbee around. As these 4 men, and I went to college with these GUYS too so it is hard to refer to them as men, ascended our steps with their greasy paper bags of hamburgers and fries, I took a good look.
One, an aspiring actor and artist, almost as greasy as the bag he was holding. He attributed this oily hair look to being on the road for so long with his touring improv group. Next was the career waiter on his way to his next shift. He’s always rethinking his life plan, his situation, his choices, his girlfriends. And up the stairs comes the graduate student, working on his degree in Public Policy. Our college was calling to this very person when it sent us posters that said, “Think one person can change the world? So do we.” And most importantly, my Hubby, about to graduate from law school in just 2 short weeks, amazing, considerate, funny, clever, thoughtful, the whole she-bang. But I digress.
As I looked around at these men/guys/friends I thought about Sam as an adult. Have you ever thought about what your baby will be like beyond pre-school? High school? Beyond the living with you age? It is rare that I envision Sam beyond the I-can-lift-him age. But it is true. One day my little baby is going to be a big boy, a GUY, A MAN! He’s going to work odd jobs and move from place to place. He’ll eat greasy hamburgers at his old friends’ houses. He’ll rethink his choices about his life, his girlfriends (dear God!). I cannot even wrap my head around this. Who is he? Who is he going to be?
I know he loves his daddy and me, and trucks, cars, office chairs, anything with wheels. And the cats, LOVES the cats. He is ticklish in his armpits and cracks up when his dad makes faces at him when they get really close to each other. He only wants pureed foods or crunchy finger foods. If he gets a mushy finger food he gags – more to follow on this topic as I try to figure how I will get him to eat his first Birthday cake in a few weeks. When he crawls on the wood part of the floor he uses one knee and the other foot, gimping around hunchback style. When he crawls on the rug he is normal. He hates: having his diaper changed, being cleaned up after meals, waking up alone in his bed, when he can’t figure out how to get his wheeled object back on its wheels after throwing it around a few times, the weird flying circus tent that comes out of the sky in Teletubbies (the one with the tap dancing bear in it. Sam cries every time that thing begins its descent), and strangers. He is impatient when it comes to problem solving. Now that he has learned how to put objects in containers he does so at lightning speed, except for when the book doesn’t fit in the bucket. I think he is shy. He is increasingly affectionate, especially with me. His laugh is beautiful, as is his smile, which has changed a bit over the past few weeks. He smiles with a bit of an underbite now, jutting out his chin. It’s the same face he makes when he is whining but for that he wrinkles his eyes and his eyebrows make upside down V’s like you see on evil characters in cartoons. But all of this is nothing. It is nothing yet it is everything. It is everything to me right now. These details fill my days (and nights) and hold my total attention. They are everything I have to go on but they tell me very little.
I spend every moment of my life with this little person and I can tell you nothing about who he will become. I can make somewhat educated guesses, wondering if he will be more like Hubby or me, or neither. I can speculate what he might be when he grows up, what activities he might enjoy in high school, if any. I can try and see him in my mind’s eye, what he will look like at six years old, twelve, eighteen, thirty-one, forty-six. One day my son will be forty-six years old. He’ll probably have a family and grey hair (balding does not seem to run in either of our families. I’m pretty confident on this one). I can hypothesize all I want and will still know nothing, not until these days come.
It’s surreal to think about the fact that for the rest of my life I will have Sam. I will never have a day again without him in the forefront of my mind. I will worry about him every day, fixate on him, obsess about him, watch him, ponder him, and learn about him. I’ll get to learn who he is in real time, so to speak, always wondering what he will do and who he will become tomorrow.