Last night I came home from a late evening at work. I was really, really tired, and your dad was working late too, so I had to fix dinner, get your sister home from dance class, help with homework, and then get you all bathed and bedded. I was not up for all this. I had just sat down beside of Alice and you came up to me with this huge smile on your face, one that showed the tooth that you have that is coming in and is just a little bigger than all your other (baby) teeth and gives you a nice, Jack o'Lantern effect. You had a manilla folder in your hand, and when you gave it to me, you giggled like a maniac. Your Nana managed to tell me that you had been so excited about the contents of that folder for the entire afternoon and had been counting down the moments until I got there to look at it.
Inside the folder was your nomination for the gifted and talented program at school. Gabby is already in the program, and the last time I talked to the principal about you, he mentioned that he was going to nominate you. The cool thing about it is that you are in first grade (but take second grade classes), and nominations are usually only done when a student is in fourth grade. So you will be the youngest kid in the program. We looked at the packet together. There were lots of pages that I had to fill out about things that you liked and disliked academically, and a sheet where you had to write about your hopes and dreams. When I asked you, you said that you wanted to "go to school for longer than anyone else" and get "a doctor degree." I asked you what job you wanted to have and you said "an author and a scientist like Stephen Hawking."
And Sam, the scary thing about it all is that it totally wouldn't surprise me if you were that someday. You are amazing. And I know all mom's say that about their kids, and God knows that they should because that is kinda our jobs--to love our kids like mad and say flattering things about them. But you literally surprise everyone around you with how smart and empathetic and fun you are. And to tell you the truth, I don't care if you are an author or a scientist or a garbage man or a go-go dancer. I just want to be around you and have the pleasure of knowing you.
At this age, you are definitely your father's son. You two are almost inseperable and have a mutual adoration and respect that goes beyond the typical father/son relationship. You guys definitely have a lot of shared interests--you both like languages and world cultures (your dad is teaching you French right now and you are the only person I know who actually likes looking at his pictures of Russia), and you like similar video games and comic books. You seem to also have inherited your dad's ability to save money, and his love for the cheap, little things in life (as evidenced by the full on unadulterated joy from both of you when the box arrives each month from the discount comic book shop). But I want you to know that you are a lot like me too. We both have a pretty stellar imagination, and have a certain self-consciousness about our intelligence (as I'm sure you've noticed, Gabby and your dad are much more...let's say "in your face" about theirs). And perhaps most importantly, you and I have the same rebellious nature in us, a certain stubborness and hard-headedness. I think in you this trait is manifested much more sweetly. But I like that we share it.
Once my mother got a call from one of my teachers where she said, "Morgan is one of the smartest kids I've ever taught, but she's also one of the most outspoken and hard-headed. That is not a good combination." I expect to get the same call about you. I expect to someday hear you say, as I have said so many times before, "If I already know how to do the homework, why waste time doing it?" I expect to fight that battle. And I want you to know that although I will fight you on it, inside I will be smiling a little bit. Because I understand a lot more than I'll act like. Deep down, I'll agree, but I'll toe the hard line, and I'll give you some crap about getting into college and I'll say something about you not being as smart as you think you are. But deep down, I think we'll both know that you are that smart, and probably plenty more.
Sam, you're awesome and you're sweet and you're smart. I want you to remember that. But I also want you to remember that no matter what, your mom thinks that you have the best cheeks on the planet. When I tell you that now, you stick your butt out and say, "What? These cheeks? THESE HONEY BUNS?" And then you explode in laughter because well, you're a 7 year old boy. Hell, you'll probably still be laughing at this when you are 37 if you are anything like your father or myself who have never met a butt joke that we didn't like. At any rate, I hope that I get to kiss those cheeks forever, and I'm kind of jazzed that it is a probability.