December 1, 2005

100 Thing About Sam

1) At birth, Sam weighed 11 pounds, 13 ounces.
2) He was also two weeks late.
3) He OWES me.
4) He was like, babe-zilla. All the other babies were about half his size. Twelve hours after birth, he could hold his head up.
5) When Sam was born, the doctor's were de-sliming him, and Scott got this odd, puzzled, musing look on his face, like he'd just noticed the kid had five eyes or a tail. I said, "What! What? IS HE OKAY IS HE OKAY?" And Scott said, "It's the strangest thing, I've only just met him, but he looks...familiar."
6) Later Scott realized he looked familiar because he looked like Scott, in all Scott's baby pictures.
7) He STILL looks just like Scott.
8) But if you just knick the surface, a big flood of me pours out---the kid is a Jackson down to the bone.
9) He CANNOT sing.
10) He does not realize this.
11) When he was three, Scott and I were standing in a park watching him play. Scott's mother was there, and the priest who married us, Edward, was there. Sam was up in this big jungle gym climber shaped like a pirate ship, standing like a captain at the wheel, heading into some imaginary adventure. Edward called up to him, "Where are you sailing off to, Sam?" And he called back, with no baby slurring, clear as day, "TO THE LIQUOR STORE!"
12) He is fierce.
13) He is loud. He has no volume under 5. Even his WHISPER is a big PUSH of air that people in Mississippi can hear if the wind is going right.
14) Last night a bunch of the younger kids at church got candy at their class, and I found him standing outside the class, eyeing the basket and saying in FAKE, HEARTY tones to the teacher, "Well, that sure is interesting candy! Shaped like fish? How FASCINATING. Where ever did you find such a thing?" and she, of course, filled his pockets with them.
15) I wanted to pinch his head off.
16) He really talks like that. Like a 35 year old accountant. He is the only 8 year old I know who says "perhaps you could talk me into an interest in that deal" when I say I he can have a little extra Video game time if he does a good job cleaning his room.
17) This is my fault. From the time he was born, I read 19th century fiction aloud to him.
18) I also went through a LONG phase when he was ababe-in-arms where I talked TO him as if he were a 40 year old accountant. "Well sir," I would say. "My goodness. The committee feels that we shoudl select the green OshKosh overalls for today's meeting. And this onesie. This is a power onesie. You will give 'em HELL today, sir, I feel convicted."
19) He has many, many, many pernicious cowlicks that are going to make him clinically insane when he is a teenager.
20) He cannot keep a shoe tied.
21) Not even one.
22) Not even for 30 seconds.
23) He has a remarkably kind heart under his blustery little boy propensities toward violence.
24) HE READS! He reads like I read, absolutely sucked in, so you can stand there saying, SAM? HEY SAM? SAMSAMSAM and he reads on, oblivious, ten miles into Narnia's strange landscape and still marching inland.
25) He thinks Roald Dahl, C.S. Lewis, Lemony Snicket and Ian Ogilvy should be collectively known as "Da Bomb." They rock him down to electric avenue.
26) When he was six, he sank so so deep into a Lemony Snicket book while coming down the stairs to breakfast that he plummeted all the way to the bottom, tail over head over tail.
27) A week later, he did it again while reading a different book.
28) Two days later, he did it again.
30) For several weekas after, I had to help him get in the habit of STOPPING reading, coming down the stairs, and resuming. He would look up, and I could see he was PHYSICALLY having to THINK about keeping his gaze lifted from the page.
31) Less than week later, I tumbled ALL THE FREAKIN' WAY DOWN the same stairs because I was reading I think Jane Austen. Heh.
33) He is my faithful ally in the war of wanting a parrot.
34) When I tell him he can't DO something, for example, stand on the upstairs landing and throw everything he owns over the bannister so it crashes into the foyer and smashes and breaks, just to "See what drops fastest, Mom," he will then go and FIND his sister, and tell her SHE is also forbidden to do this thing it never once occurred to her to do, and tell her with such VIM and SORROW, like he can't believe she will NEVER be allowed this pleasure, that she will weep and come to me begging can they just hurl SOME of their stuff over the bannister to smash and break in the foyer.
35) He has brown hair.
36) He had BLACK hair at birth, thick tons of it, but it grew in blonde underneath.
37) I don't mean the black fell out--- I mean the individual hairs that were black at birth began GROWING blonde. At one point, he had an inch of babyfine blonde hair with another inch of jet black hair on top of it. He had ROOTS. He looked like he was recovering from a goth-baby dye job.
38) He likes to TALK.
39) He has always liked to talk.
40) His first word was NOT "Mommy."
41) It was also not "Daddy."
42) It was "Kitty."
43) He said Kitty in his ninth month on earth and it was the only word he had for several weeks. He never stopped saying it. He woke up calling for the kitty. If the kitty was in the room, he said kitty to the kitty. If the kitty was not in the room, he called endlessly for the kitty to come. If the kitty came, he explained and re-explained to it that it was, indeed, a kitty. When the kitty got bored and left, he would yell KIIIIIITY KIIIITTY at the disappearing cat butt, like the cat's hind end was STELLA.
44) The cat at that time was a monstrous white behemoth named Wally Mavis, and Wally-Cat hated Sam and all Sam stood for and babies in general and the earth and all living things that crawled upon it's vile surface, except me, he liked me okay, and kibble, he LOVED kibble, but he hated everything else and REVILED Sam and Sam would stand in his play pen and YEARN palpably at Wally and Wally would turn his dead flat baleful gaze upon Sam and Wally was thinking, you could SEE him thinking, "If that kid says KITTY one more time, I am going to off myself."
45) He values the experience over the thing. That is to say, he would rather GO AND DO than HAVE. The zoo trip is more important than the overpriced zoo shop toy he might get at the end.
46) He is a geek-in-bud.
47) He loves space/sci-fi/fantasy.
48) He loves Anime.
49) He loves MMORPGs.
50) I suspect he is the kind of kid who will spend prom in a basement somewhere, rolling 30 sided dice to see if he gets the vorpal snicker-snack bonus on his plus three sword of orc-slaughtering hoe-downiness when he attacks that Balrog.
51) I, for one, think that is an EXCELLENT way to spend prom.
52) Yesterday he used the owrd pernicious in a sentence. Correctly.
53) He likes the newts. He REALLY wants his newt, Spotty, to be a male, even though all the blank eggsacks that show up and fade seem to indicate we have an all girl tank just now.
54) We had a bunch of folks from church over for supper and he was earnestly explaining to them that he thought Spotty was for sure a BOY newt, and one foolish guy who doesn't yet have children asked the 64,000 dollar question: "How can you tell Spotty is a boy," and Sam said, earnestly earnestly, "Well, the other day, the newts were stacked on each other, and Spotty was stacked on top of Fig, so I am pretty sure he is the boy."
55) There was dead silence.
56) Sam had recently been given a illustrated book called WHERE DID I COME FROM that explains, well, you know, where he came from, and where baby animals come from and etc.
57) He had apparently really logged some good hours reading it.
58) At least he didn't read it on the stairs.
59) He is a good big brother.
60) Mostly.
61) He REALLY wants me to understand how to play YU-GI-OH.
62) I REALLY do not want to ever understand that.
63) I will lay you 7-3 odds, right now, that my future daughter in law is going to be a tall blonde. He likes him some tall blondes.
64) Just now, however, girls are icky. There were a whole tribe of boys playing in our house and I could hear the buzz and babble of their conversation but not what was being said, and then Sam spoke in his super-sam volume, and all the parents, sitting around my den, distincly heard him say, "WHEN I AM PRESIDENT, I AM GOING TO MAKE ALL THE GIRLS EXCEPT MY MOM AND MAYBE MY SISTER GO LIVE ON AN ISLAND."
65) My husband immediately deadpanned, "And then we'll blow up the island!"
66) Even in 2005, at 8, he retains a shred or two of his delightful innocence.
67) The other day he came home and said, "Mom there is a RUMOR at school that Santa isn't real. Kerbin says that Santa is your parents. Is that true??"
68) I said, "What do you think?" Because I was NOT prepared.
69) He thought about it and then said, "I think Kerbin's full of it."
70) He still genuinely, no REALLY, thinks "Shut Up" is "a bad word."
71) If he leaves the house with five things, he will come home with two things, and one will be broken, and one will be a completely new thing that bears no relation to the original five.
72) Once when he was two I looked away for an INSTANT and when I looked back he had popped the child safety cap on the cat's heart pills and scattered them all over the floor and we did not know if he had eaten them, did not know how many there originally were, and he had to go to the ER and they ran a tube up his nose into his stomach to fill him with charcol to try and keep the pills from being digested and I said to the nurse, urgently, but calmly, "You need to tell me how serious it is. This medication---how serious can the effects be?" And I could see her hating to tell me, but she told me, "It can be very serious." And that wasn't good enough. I said, "Are you saying he could die?" And she said, "If he he took enough, I am saying his heart will stop." And my heart stopped.
73) He didn't take enough.
74) Another time, he choked on a bean and was SO choked he wasn't coughing, just silently dying with his arms waving and his eyes SO surprised, and Scott grabbed him up and I screamed, SCOTT FIX IT MAKE HIM BREATHE SCOTT YOU HAVE TO FIX IT NOW RIGHT NOW RIGHT NOW.
75) Scott fixed it.
76) Like all 8 year old boys, Sam thinks he is immortal.
77) He has huge emotions that sweep through him in waves: He loves, he loathes, but never, never is the child lukewarm.
78) From the time he was three until the present, has had the best, loudest, clearest parenthetical YOU MORON I have ever not heard. When he talks down to you --- OH AND HE WILL --- because you have been sadly born too stupid to underastand YU-GI-OH, you can HEAR the unsaid YOU MORON so clearly, and it HANGS in the air, palpable and smelly, for HOURS.
79) When it is aimed at me, the parenthetical YOU MORON makes me want to pinch his little head RIGHT off.
80) He was born with true blue eyes. Not that cloudy, changeable newborn blue -- real blue.
81) They were my father's eyes.
82) They stayed true blue all the way until he was three.
83) I was so happy, because I loved seeing my father's eyes in my son's face, and everythign I read said that a babies eye color is set by the time they are three.
84) At four, they went relentlessly green.
85) Now they, like everything else about the kid, look just like Scott.
86) I like that, too. But I still treasure his baby pictures where he looks out guileless and pleased with my father's eyes.
87) He is good at SPORTS! Which, how did THAT happen? Except, I think he got that from my dad, which is nice since he gave up the eyes.
88) He hated the water from birth and screamed his way through bath time and refused to learn to swim until he was six, when he suddenly turned into Fearless Fish because he discovered there was such a thing as a Water Slide.
89) When he was three, he had an imaginary friend.
90) It was a cow.
91) It lived in the shed behind our house.
92) It was named, "Ontog."
93) When he was tiny, I used to carry him around and whisper and whisper into his ear, "You don't want to be a soldier. You want to be AN ARCHITECT!"
94) I have no idea what he will be when he grows up. None. Nada.
95) I can tell you this: It won't require huge organizational skills. He will immediately be fired from any job that requires him to not lose, say, important top secret documents. Or his coat.
96) I can tell you this, too: When he finds his niche in the world, it is going to be ODD, it is going to be nothing I have imagined for him, but he is going to love it and be successful at it. Because that's who he is, already. He seeks out odd spaces that suit him and he fills them up. He fills them to the brim.
97) I never knew how perilous a place the world is until Sam, my first child, the singular and living center of my heart, was let loose upon it.
98) A hideous change is coming, and coming, and coming soon: I will have to stop blogging about him. He will begin to not like it and to be embrarrased by my adoring gaze and his friends will be finding this blog via search engines and I may have to take the entire SAM RELATED loin fruit section DOWN. Maybe not this year Maybe not even next year. But soon.
99) This is because he is growing up, changing from little squirmy kid-thing into an actual person, the star of his own movie, and Sam's growing up is for me both a constantly defining miracle and the most heartbreaking thing to ever happen, all at once.
100) Luckily, the good outweighs the sorrow, because you know what? The person he is becoming? I really, really like him.

Posted by joshilyn at December 1, 2005 7:42 AM

He is a fine, fine small accountant, your Sam. There is nothing that warms the cockles of one's heart quite like a child with a kick-ass parenthetical YOU MORON trailing a sentence full of excellent thesaurus words who then thinks it is hilarious to put his stinky boy feet on your bare leg. I was utterly powerless.

Posted by: Mir at December 1, 2005 7:58 AM

Well done. As the mom of a boy, I was giving you an "Amen" all the way through the list.
These little fellows are a treasure, aren'they?

Posted by: Denise at December 1, 2005 8:05 AM

You made me cry. You made Bane cry. We love you. Thanks. I'm gonna go hug my boo.

Posted by: Gabi at December 1, 2005 9:15 AM

That was an amazing and wonderful list and Sam sounds like an amazing and wonderful boy-child. I'm now weepy.

Posted by: DebR at December 1, 2005 9:17 AM

Someday, though, when he's older, you'll be able to show him this blog entry, and he'll love it. He sounds like a terrific kid -- in ways what you've written here reminds me of my nephew Sam. He doesn't talk like an accountant, though. More like an aspiring Dark Overlord. A few weeks ago he asked me to translate the word 'immolate' into Latin for him for a vampire story he's writing.

Posted by: Aimee at December 1, 2005 10:31 AM

Made me cry, too. I love all your sublime 100 things, but "liquor store" in the pirate boat most of all...

Posted by: Cornelia Read at December 1, 2005 11:19 AM

Ah, even kid-less me is touched! This list is wonderful and sweet and the sort of thing he is going to print out and tuck away in a box and carry with him when he goes to college. You are a DAMN good Mommy, Joshilyn Jackson.

Posted by: Karen Abbott at December 1, 2005 11:30 AM

Weeping and laughing and missing him and you...

Posted by: Amy-GO at December 1, 2005 12:00 PM

If every mom, and every dad cherished their sons - and daughters - like you (Scott) cherish Sam (and Maisy) the world would a very good to place to raise a child. Sheesh to raise an adult.

I recently started letters to my family. My parents were easy, my husband (number three was very easy - I just had to compare him to one and two.) The letter to my daughter is not complete (and therefore the one to my grandson is not even started) I couldn't quit crying because I love her so much, I am in awe of her, and she is such an integral part of why and who I am. Maybe I should try it as a 100 point list.

Kudos to you and family. Your love and joy is inspirational. "To the liquor store"...just too much.

Jane Austin (like you) never grows stale, but I enviably fall up the stairs.

Posted by: Cele at December 1, 2005 12:34 PM

Joshilyn, you made me bawl because I swear on a stack of bibles that my kid is your kid. Only mine is four. He does so many of the same things and it's like I'm glimpsing my son's life in four years and it looks wonderful.

Except 72 and 74 really made me cry because they made me scared. But I'm pregnant so I'm doubly.. or triply more likely to cry.

Posted by: Heather Cook at December 1, 2005 12:41 PM

sigh....I, 37 year old mother of a "Sam-ish" toddler, am totally in love with your child...and your husband...and you....Would the Jackson family collectively like to make out? Also, you are pretty. And If I were moderately wealthy, or at least able to fill up my car with gas, I would send you cute chocolates. Or at least yummy chocolates. Because you made me laugh...and cry...and remember how fun it is to live in a house with a "Sam" on today when I am very blue and bah humbug feeling.
Thanks Joss.

Posted by: Angela at December 1, 2005 12:52 PM

Okay, I must unlurk here with a big stinkin' AWWWW! I too own an 8 year old, female version, and your Sam sounds very like her. There must have been something in the water back in '97.

Posted by: Badger at December 1, 2005 2:31 PM

One more mom chiming in to say, what a great list! He does sound a lot like my 7 y.o. too (who desperately wants me to understand Pokemon, which I desperately don't want to understand). Yeah, this list will embarrass him when he's 14, but by the time he's 21 he'll cherish it, so don't delete it. (Actually, even when he's 14, he'll be secretly cherishing it, but he won't tell you).

Posted by: Trudy at December 1, 2005 3:22 PM

Delurking to say I laughed and cried. Sam sounds lovely.

I'm hoping mine outgrow the unorganized losing of things. The gloves! My God, the gloves that are lost in this house.

Sounds like Sam will treasure this list - even if it isn't until he realizes your not a 'moron'.

Posted by: MoMMY at December 1, 2005 3:29 PM

Ugh! you're not your

Just like me to delurk and then commit one of my biggest pet peeves.

Posted by: MoMMY at December 1, 2005 3:30 PM

I love it! I love that there is a child in the world that is Sam! I love the fact that his eyes turned green, mine did at that age!

I found out today that my step-daughter (child of my heart, just not of my loins) is having another boy. They were upset, they so wanted a girl. I am just glad I get another boy to love and cherish until he is too old to be smothered by his "mawmaw" with hugs and kisses, that is in public!

Maisy is awesome! Ya'll are just too pretty for words!

Posted by: Robbie at December 1, 2005 6:26 PM

Sam is adorable...and everything else wonderful you wrote about him.

Aren't kids "da bomb"?

Posted by: Edgy Mama at December 1, 2005 8:56 PM

I am madly in love with Sam. Why? Because Sam is just so much like my own son that whilst reading your post, I was giggling with delight. I can't even begin to tell you how much they are alike. My son is now 13 and I still blog about him all the time, and he reads my blog daily. Sometimes he corrects me in the comments section, which drives me bonkers. But then I read HIS blog too, and comment as well. Heh! Mostly, though, he loves that I write about him and sometimes reads old Usenet posts from when he was a baby that really entertain him.

So I say, keep on blogging about Sam, because we all enjoy him.

Posted by: margalit at December 3, 2005 2:04 AM

i love it. I love you for writing it and I love sam.

Posted by: kath at December 3, 2005 4:30 AM

Wow. Just wow. Lucky boy. Lucky mama, too.

Posted by: Dyanna at December 4, 2005 5:03 AM