A few weeks ago, our very own Samwise turned 9 years old. Nine!!!
Okay, so have y’all watched The Good Place? It’s a great show; watch it if you haven’t. Anyway, there’s a character on that show named Jason Mendoza. At first blush, Jason seems like the ultimate space cadet. He is not paying attention, he blurts out the most random stuff imaginable, he seems to have no clue what is going on, and he gets excited by the most simple things in life. But then he will suddenly surprise the other characters by contributing the most thoughtful, astute, heartwarming lines on the show.
You guys. It’s Sam.
And that is why Jason Mendoza is my favorite character on The Good Place. He’s my Sam.
Sam can seem to be in his own little world for much of the time. He plays with Godzillas in his room for hours while he hums whatever tune is in his head. He could play in the pool (or the bath, or the hose) all day if I would let him. You think he is not paying attention to you or what you’re doing, then seemingly out of nowhere he will pipe up with some Sam-centric words of wisdom. Either that or something innocently inappropriate.
Sam finished up third grade at the end of May. School . . . well, it went. Usually. Sam can read, but if he has the slightest sense it is for ‘learning,’ he has absolutely no interest. He is great at math . . . when he wants to think about math. Science? Astrophysics or GTFO. Sam’s philosophy when it comes to history is “if it is behind you, it does not matter.” When you combine all this with his anxiety and ADHD, well, any day when we get a bit of schoolwork done is a marvelous day.
And yet . . . Sam can be amazingly intelligent. For example, somehow he learned about exponents, so he now refers to Books-a-Million as Books-a-ten-to-the-power-of-six.
Sam is much more keen on the fun things in life, and there was a lot of that to go around, including vacations, weddings, and holidays. In September, Uncle Kevin got married! Stephanie has been part of the family for a while, but it was nice to see it become official. Both kids (and Steven, for that matter) were part of the wedding party, and ohhhhh, my Lord, this boy can wear a tux. Oh, my stars.
A week after the wedding, we were beach-bound. We changed things up again for our beach trip: we went with Grandma and Papa . . . and we stayed for an entire week!
After we got back from the beach, it was Holiday Time! Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas! Halloween is still Sam’s favorite, and this year I caved in to pressure and we got many tacky blow-up decorations for the yard. The kids were thrilled. Ohh, the tackiness!
For about a year Sam talked about going as Furious Destroyer for Halloween. For those not in the know (like I was), Furious Destroyer is a popular YouTuber’s Minecraft character. In other words, you won’t find this costume in Target. Thank goodness for tutorials on the internet and a patient Dad! Sam ended up winning a costume contest at a party with this one.
Christmas always goes by in a whirlwind, a constant stream of amazing food, family get-togethers, and Sam’s stream-of-consciousness narrations.
Sam is still taking drum lessons with Mr. Wes. It is an amazing thing to watch Sam rocking out on a drum set. He will be playing a complicated drum pattern while looking all over his surroundings — yet he is never looking at the drums he is hitting. I’m not quite sure how he does it. He completed a drummers’ rite of passage this spring by breaking his first drumstick. I’m honestly surprised it took him that long. He’s very good at breaking everything else.
Sam also started something new this year: workouts. He has been fascinated with lifting weights and getting strong muscles for a while, and we finally found a place that provided that for kids. So a few times a week we drive over the mountain to Blackwatch so Sam can “train” with other kids his own age. Now, he’s not really lifting weights, per se, but he does work against his own body weight and also does running and coordination exercises.
In April we took a vacation up to the Northeast to visit Ken and Lisa (who are now in Pittsburgh). I think of this one as an Education Vacation since we all learned a lot, including how the Pennsylvania Turnpike works.
We elected to drive up to Pittsburgh and back so we could see some sights along the way, including Monticello and Mount Vernon. Overall, Lydia was way more interested in the history stuff than her brother (“if it is behind you, it does not matter”), but Sam did survive the educational portion of our trip. He was much more thrilled to see what Ken and Lisa’s new house looked like.
Sam’s actual birthday, June 2nd, fell on a Sunday this year, so we elected to go out for his Special Day on Friday, May 31st. And hey, remember when I told y’all about the sequel to 2014 Godzilla coming out in 2019? Do ya? Well it did . . . on May 31st! So you can guess what we did for his Special Day.
At the end of the movie and the screen began to roll the credits, Sam jumped up out of his seat and yelled, “Best! Movie! Ever!”
Afterwards, we found out that Sam’s bottomless pit does indeed have a bottom.
So another year, another Godzilla party, with the Avengers and the Ninjago crew also in attendance. The more the merrier.
And another year begins. Next year will be a big one . . . ten. Well, at least we’ve got a whole year ahead of us before then. An entire year — anything can happen. And I mean anything. So to prepare, let us say the Invocation of Sam:
May the fires he starts be contained.
May the furniture in his room stay strong.
May his balls stay inflated and bouncy.
May his mood stay positive.
And above all, may his tux-wearing opportunities abound.