I have often imagined that I have enough material on "The Things Sam Says" to write a column for some cutesy parenting magazine, but I never get too far gone that I don't remember that I am his mother and may, possibly, just maybe be a tad partial... and I'd have to be a better writer! Even still, he does say just the most hysterical and lovely things, and I have got to start writing them down more often... I could never remember each one, and the day may come that he is done sharing his wonderful imagination so openly with me. (Please, no!)
As long as I can remember, and since he could first speak in full sentences, Sam has contemplated the age old questions, "What will I be when I grow up?" It is clear to him, as it should be at the wise age of 7, that the possibilities truly are endless. In the past several months, he has pondered a undiscriminating variety of career possibilities. Last week, after drudging through a local tree farm and helping Daddy cut down the family Christmas Tree, Sam asked, "Mom, do you think I could be a tree-cutting-man when I grow up?" What is a tree-cutting-man exactly? Well, the tree-cutting-man would be the person who helps families find the perfect Christmas tree for their family, of course. Yes, Sam. I think you could be a tree-cutting-man, and I think you would be the absolute best tree-cutting-man ever! You see, it is so easy to support his dreams because he is so sincere, so dreamy, and so passionate about making this important decision... and because they never last more than a day!
Sam drives with me to school every day. We have about a 30 minute commute, which provides ample time for a second grader to ponder his potential in life. I am often thankful that Sam sits behind me and can not see my face, which is almost always in a permanent and ridiculous grin. Last week, Sam began his familiar thought process:
Mom, do you think I could be a "Music-Man" like Daddy when I grow up?
Absolutely, Sam. I think you would be an amazing "Music-Man".
Well, do you think I should play the guitar like Daddy?
If you want to, buddy. What do you think?
Well, I think I'd really like to play the piano. Or the drums.
I mean, I could decide to play the guitar, I think Daddy would like that.
And probably James will play the piano because he is on Book 2, and I am only on Book 1.
And probably Nate will play the drums because he likes to bang on things.
So, I guess I will play the guitar after all,
but I better start practicing more.
(All said in about three breaths... )
The very next day, Sam told me that he would like to be a "Forest-Man". This one was a bit involved, but I have to at least summarize. A Forest-Man is one of Sam's many philanthropic personalities. As a Forest-Man, Sam would spend his days and nights walking through the forest looking for people who do not have homes of their own. (I have no idea how thoughts like this hatch in my child's wonderful day dreams, but oh how I love him for it!) So, there he would be, wandering the forests of the world in search of people who need a warm place to live. It would be his job to help them make a home from the trees in the forest and learn how to find food to survive. The details of his Forest-Man lifestyle were so well thought out, right down to what gear he would need in his pack, to the "why" of it all. Full heart, swelling lump in my throat, I smile and nod as he plots out the details of saving the world. As I said, it may only last a day... especially if there is a Patriots game on, because he will naturally have decided to be a Quarterback-Man by morning....
...until the next day's drive to school. Which could be... the "golf-man" day? Or a day he decides he'd like to be the president-man? It might be a day he'd dream of being a "hip-hop guy", or a "fisher-man", or a "numbers-guy" like Daddy?? His fantasies range from the bottom of the ocean studying sea animals to beyond the moon naming new constellations, often finding ways to help others along the way... and I am just thank my lucky stars (maybe the one's Sam will name in my honor!) that I can tag along for the ride.