Sam is a true delight and the older he gets the more he show his wonderful interpersonal side. Some things lately have particularly charmed me.
Our bedtime routine now includes a snuggle on the rocking chair before putting Sam down in his crib to fall asleep. Sometimes he snuggles up and relaxes right away but more often than not, you have to spend a good 5 or 10 minutes convincing him to stay still, relax, lay his head on your shoulder or arm.....and most importantly, stop talking. Sam gets hyper when he's tired and he talks non-stop most of the day. So this can be a challenge. However, it also leads to some special moments.
Last week he was laying against my chest but his head kept popping up off my shoulder to peer into my face and chat. So I lay him down on my arm and he relaxed some more and was quiet for a moment. Unexpectedly he reached up and put his finger on my lips and then back down onto his lips, feeling his mouth, then back up to mine. I realized he was touching one freckle and then another and then feeling for his own....which he doesn't have. (I have two small, raised freckles on my upper lip that I intend to get lasered off this year.)
I whispered, 'that's Mommy's freckle, you don't have one,' when he reached up again with his finger and thumb and pretended to pick up the freckle and then pop it into his mouth like he was eating it. I nearly died. He did it again and again as I tried not to burst into laughter. I was so totally charmed I may change my mind about getting them removed.
Sam understands requests very well and is almost always compliant. When Rachel ran out of fishy crackers during snack time I asked Sam to share some of his. He looked at her empty cup on the floor and at her sad face and then diligently transferred every single cracker from his cup to hers. He then handed her his now empty cup.... and then picked up her full one and walked away. Of course she was madder than ever but we couldn't help but laugh. He obeyed the letter of the law so perfectly, if not the spirit.
On Monday we went to the park near our house and there were some older boys who had a big ball, we just had little tennis size balls. Sam was eyeing them and as soon as they went to the playground and left their ball for a moment, he ran over to get it. I explained to him that it wasn't ours but he could play with it for a little bit and Oooooh boy was he having fun. He was thrilled to be playing with it. Very soon after though the oldest boy came over from the playground and I could tell he wanted the ball back. So I called over to Sam and said, "The boy wants his ball back. Can you please give it to the big boy?" I was fearing a meltdown or at least a complaint or perhaps I thought he'd ignore me. But instead he immediately picked it up and walked all the way across the park straight to the boy and handed it to him.
Something about how he did that made my heart ache for him. It was such a mature thing to do when I knew he wanted the ball for himself soooo much and he's generally so shy around people. After the boy took it, Sam came back and let out a few whines, complaining as he pointed to the boy but he got over it quite quickly. His little heart yearned to be included as he watched the boy play with the ball but soon he was willing to go back to playing with his own little ball.
I'll tell you this, we are definitely going to be bringing our soccer ball to the park from now on.