Then this morning, after I came home from my early-day walk, I crept upstairs to the babies to see if I could steal some snuggling time before they woke up. Sam, my boy, who has always been as regular as a fine Swiss timepiece, was already up. He was diligently going through his drawers looking for the right shirt to wear to his first of several choir performances today. He'd already made his bed and brushed his teeth and was trying to be extra quiet so as not to wake up the girls, with whom he shares a room. In that moment, as has happened to me many times, I was overwhelmed with what a good boy he is. I could barely keep myself together.
What a good, good boy my Sam is. He is the very definition of goodness. He is noble and kind, loving and thoughtful, so sweet he makes you want to smile even when you're not in a smiling kind of mood. He is earnest in all things, genuine to a fault, and seriously sincere. I wish everyone in the world would get a few moments to know my little boy because I think just about everyone he comes in contact with must be the better for having met him. If I didn't selifshly want him to be (and know he'll be great at being) a dad, I'd say he's exactly the kind of person the church needs to draw people into the faith. And don't take my word for it - his teachers actually tear up when they tell me how much they love having him in the class. That'd border on the weird if I didn't tear up myself when I describe him to other people. He's just that kind of kid.
Don't get me wrong. The boy can annoy with the best of them. He is 8 and has been growing up with sisters so there's no end to the use of plastic snakes, rubber spiders, and real live worms he has invented. (I'm particularly impressed in a 'that is so disgusting' kind of way with the planting of worms in the laundry room, a long-term investment in the inevitable squeal, usually from me.) He is a fresh-air addict and is completely nonplussed by the insistance that a child must remain indoors during blizzards or thunderstorms. His father has taken to buying him only velcro-strap shoes because he has tired of ranting about the need to tie shoes. (The boy can do it, he just knows now that it gets a rise out of his dad when he doesn't so... velcro it is!) Sam's chronic teasing has brought everyone in the family to tears, or tearing out hair, depending on the occasion. And if I have to tell him one more time that 'neatness counts' when he does his homework I may have to stab myself in the pupils with sharp #2 pencils just to release the stress.
But, oh my good Lord, the love that boy generates is like sunshine all around you on a perfect summer day. When Julie Andrews sings 'the hills are alive' and twirls around on that mountaintop, she's feeling that feeling that I get when I see my baby boy, I just know it. And on the worst of my days, when I'm as low as I can be, I can look at that face, that face that had to be in an incubator when first born because it was so so tiny, that face that smiles broadly all the time for no good reason at all, that face that looks just like my face, but exactly like my husband's face too, I can look at that face and know I haven't a care in the world.
When all else fails, I can look at that face and be happy. And no amount of snow can dampen that kind of happiness.