Dear Sam,

I started writing this letter to you on your birthday, but once again time has gotten away from me and now you've nudged past the point where you're closer to turning nine.  How can this be?  How can you be eight years old?  How is it possible that it has been so close to a decade since that day when a tiny, white haired little bundle of amazing was placed on my chest, looking at us all with eyes that could see into our souls?

You are amazing.  I have always loved you, but now that you are a little older, you make me laugh.  And not just because you're cute, but because you actually know how to make real jokes.  The other day, I was in the bathroom and you knocked on the door.  I says 'what?' a little annoyed because, well, I was trying to go to the bathroom.  You sounded like you wanted something from me.  But instead, you sang "Do you want to build a snowman?"  I cracked up.

You love jokes and puns and you're so smart.  Your favorite subject in school is math, and you are good at it.  About halfway through this year, a switch flipped in you and you fell in love with books.  I started to come home from work, and instead of watching videos you'd be up in your room reading.  I have gone to the used book store and gotten you some books, and you devour them, so excited.  I love that you love to read.  

Recently when I picked you up from school, we went to Red Robin.  You ate 2.5 bowls of mac & cheese and a whole basket of fries.  Then you asked to go to Dairy Queen for dessert.  I am slightly frightened of what the grocery bill is going to look like in 5 or 6 years when you're a teenager.

Early in the year, you still struggled at school.  It was hard for me when we had a morning where it was obvious you just didn't want to go, and I had to make you.  I really can't imagine what the past year has been like for you.  Everything has changed.  You moved to a new house, you barely see your dad anymore, and when you do, he's not the same either.  Then, we moved AGAIN before 3rd grade into our own place.

Things have settled down, and you seem to be doing better in school this year.  You talk about other kids giving you a hard time, but you don't usually want to talk about it and you seem to be mostly in good spirits.  Some days, I sit and watch you walk into the school and it just blows my mind that you're a third grader and you have been going to school for four years.  I remember your first day of preschool when you were 3 and putting you onto that little school bus.  One day, maybe you will be a father, and you will understand what I mean when I say now that I don't know where the time has gone.

Throughout all of the changes, there have certainly been bumps in the road.  You are quick to react (and often overreact) to things when you don't get your way.  But I understand that you are also struggling to figure out which parts of your life you can control because so many of them have been so out of your control.

I worry sometimes about how you will remember these times, and whether I am giving you the life you deserve.  We struggle sometimes because you did not have a good example for a long time and you don't like doing things for yourself, but it is slowly getting better.  I hope that as you grow, we will stay as close as we are now, and have a strong bond.

I have so many wishes for you in the next months that will bring you to nine, which, let's just not talk about you being nine.  I wish for you to be happy.  I hope that we can continue to grow together as a family, to be patient with each other and learn to communicate even better.  I hope that your physical issues become easier for both of us to manage so that you can stop thinking about them and concentrate on just being a kid.

I love you, Sam.


Favorite Book: A-Z Mysteries, Geronimo Stilton
Favorite Movie: My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks
Favorite Song:  Let Her Go by Passenger
Favorite Board Game: Othello
Favorite Video Game: Minecraft, Castle Crashers
Favorite TV Show: The Amazing World of Gumball, The Simpsons, YouTube Videos
Favorite Food: Pizza, Mac & Cheese, Chicken Nuggets, Waffles
Favorite Dessert: Cookie Dough Ice Cream mixed with Ben & Jerry's Cinnamon Bun Ice Cream
Favorite Thing to Do Outside the House: Playground, Go to Rocket Donuts or Red Robin, Perch and Play, Bellingham Farmer's Market
Best Friend:  Ashawn
Favorite Subject at School: Math