As I contemplate what to write about this week, my mind is preoccupied with the fact that my baby turns 16 tomorrow…. my 6’5” baby

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As I contemplate what to write about this week, my mind is preoccupied with the fact that my baby turns 16 tomorrow…. my 6’5” baby. My Samuel has set his own path from day one; he’s always known what he wants and doesn’t stop until he gets it.

It started with him being due on the millennium and deciding to come five days later at 10 lbs. 12 oz. From that moment on, a smile rarely left his face and a determination rarely left his soul. His charming disposition and the “Who? Me?” look is always at the center of his determination…. and they serve him well.

This past weekend, he was cleaning out his room of his own volition, which immediately alerted me that something different was going on. My foyer was stacked high with all these “things” he was throwing away. It seemed like 16 years was headed for the dump. As I watched, I understood since I went through the same thing with Marcus. Getting rid of this “stuff ” was more than cleaning his room… it was his way of moving on to the next phase. Every so often while purging himself of his younger life, he’d stop me and say, “Mom, do you want to keep this… you know… for posterity?” I, of course, didn’t miss a beat, “YES, I want that!” His face would light up as though by keeping the stuff, I was allowing him to hang on to his youth a little longer.

I came down to my office to find a little, plastic Winnie the Pooh on my desk. I’ve always called him my Pooh Bear and bought him little sentiments over the years to acknowledge this connection. Seeing this little Pooh looking at me, my heart broke for the loss of “my little Samuel” and filled with pride at the same time.

As I typed emails, he walked by and unprovoked assured me, “Mom I set Pooh there to watch over you. I just need to get rid of some of this stuff in my room.” I chuckled, trying to lighten the situation, asked him if he’d find a big enough box to put me in when he was done with me. He laughed. The twinkle in his eyes told me were both speaking the same unspoken language.

Now I visit his room and marvel at the new layout and design. He eagerly shows me around. As I leave and head back to my room with a mix of sadness and joy, I notice a little yellowish thing on my pillow… it’s a stuffed Pooh that he left for me.

Happy 16th my Samuel, Mom

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