I have said often in the past few months that I wish I could just push pause on Samuel and freeze him the way he is right now. He just oozes sweetness and character and personality and hilarity. It’s impossible to capture him with words, but I’ll give it a meager effort.
Samuel is a superhero. He is in classic little boy stage in which every step is accompanied by sound effects. He makes crashes and bangs and “pow’s” and “whoosh’s” with almost every movement. When he runs, he runs with his arms straight back behind him. Superhero mode. He is always “To the rescue!” of something. He is Buzz Lightyear most of the time, but is also sometimes Superman Samuel. When he’s not a superhero he’s a cowboy. Woody is his hero, and he’s often known to walk into a room and randomly say, “Reach for the sky!” He looks at Silas and says, “Howdy, partner!” He is also a monster a lot of the time. He has a great growl voice and roar, and the face that pairs up with said growl is absolutely priceless. His growl voice is used for both monster and pirate, so you have to clue in on the context to figure out who you’re talking to. I spend much of my day being Mommy Monster or Mommy Pirate. I also am randomly “rescued” by Buzz Lightyear running into the kitchen and saying, “Hop on my back, Mom, and I’ll save you!” I grab onto the back of his shirt, he yells, “To Infinity and Beyond!” and off we go. I am usually being rescued from the Evil Dr. Porkchop when this happens.
Samuel is, if you hadn’t guessed, a Toy Story fanatic. Everything is Toy Story in his world. He has a Toy Story bed. He has loads of Toy Story toys. He sleeps with Woody, Buzz (who is hard and not cuddly at all), and a stuffed horse who plays the role of Bullseye. He has four sets of Toy Story pj’s. He says it’s almost his Toy Story birthday. He says it’s almost his turn to go to Toy Story school. A few times a week he wraps some little doo-dad up in his blankie and brings it to me and says, “Here, Mom, it’s your Toy Story present.” He watches Toy Story at least once a day when his world is perfect. He has Toy Story cheese crackers and Toy Story fruit snacks because his mother is a sucker. He is Toy Story to the core.
Samuel is the boss. He does his darndest to keep his sisters in line, not a task for the faint-hearted but he does a fair job. If words don’t do the job, he just smacks them. He also tries to keep his daddy and mommy in line, being quick to catch when we’re doing something he doesn’t think we should do, like going outside with no shoes on or telling him to stop doing something. He is the king of “I’m just…” and always has an “I’m just…” reason for why he shouldn’t have to stop.
Samuel is all boy. He is rough and tumble. He is strong and sturdy. When he knows a spanking is coming, he says, “I’m not gonna cry, Mom.” He knows to wait beside the van door until his sisters are all in, saying, “Ladies first!” When he walks into a room or comes downstairs from his nap, he cries with gusto, “Mom, I’m here!” or “Dad, I’m awake!” He also has been known to annouce his presence in this way upon bursting into the nursery at church. Samuel lives life to the fullest every moment. He squeezes more joy out of a snack or a movie or a storybook or just a good romp than any kid I’ve ever seen.
When Samuel was born and broke the all-Hall-girl streak, people told us to watch out because having three older sisters would ruin him. They didn’t know Samuel. He is his own person and he ain’t gonna let any older sisters tell him differently. He is a boy. And right now he’s still a little boy, and even though he insists that he’s not my boy, he’s Daddy’s boy, he is my little boy. I wouldn’t really pause him. There is too much life that he’s looking forward to, always saying things that he’ll do when he grows up–like be a soccer ball teamer and go to swim practice. No, I couldn’t be selfish enough to pause him. But Samuel the little boy superhero will always be paused in a corner of my heart, even while I eagerly watch from the front row as Samuel the little boy turns into Samuel the big boy and then To Infinity and Beyond.