I love this picture because it perfectly captures Sam at this moment in time. Sam sent it to our family text thread yesterday, and I giggled when I saw it. He loves fishing, and really wants to learn to be a “good” fisherman.
At dinner he said, “You know that picture I sent to the ‘Humans I Live With’ text thread? Well, I didn’t catch that fish. The fish I caught was about two inches long.”
And then he laughed, and said, “I couldn’t stop laughing thinking that you’d think I caught that fish when I really didn’t.”
Of course, this makes me like the picture even more.
Sam couldn’t stop laughing, and even though it’s normal, soon we were all laughing because Sam’s laugh is contagious. You can’t be around Sam without being tempted to smile. He’s playful and enthusiastic. He’s busy. He invents. He creates. He dreams.
All of this is charming to me, which is not to say that Sam is always charming. At his best, though, he is awed by ordinary things in the world and is always up for an adventure and a joke.
Obviously, because you can see it in the picture.
It casts a spell on me, and I find myself opening my camera roll over and over, just to stare at the picture. He’s not a little kid any more, in fact, he’s heading into high school.
Sam is the only one of our four kids who has lived with us since the moment he was born. Maybe that’s why his laughter comes so easily. Maybe that’s why he’s playful. Maybe that’s why he’s enamored by small adventures. All of his energy has went towards being enthusiastic about life, rather than overcoming a dark patch of life.
Is that why I’m captivated by this picture? Happiness is his default, much like his momma and just like his dad. (Happiness is not a default setting for kids who overcome dark starts to life.) Perhaps this picture nourishes my soul because it is evidence that happiness and laughter can win.
PS — There are Twinkies in his backpack.
Let's Be Email Pals!
Teaching writers doesn't have to drown us.
Enter your information to receive my free eBook, plus weekly tips and encouragement for teaching writers.
Your PS made me laugh! Sam is a delight and just his name brings a light of joy to your eyes. I can’t wait to see what he will accomplish in this life.
Thank you! I’m always looking for ways to add humor to my writing. Sam told me once, “You can make people laugh with a ‘PS’, if you do it right!” LOL. He does bring much solace to my life.
Oh my goodness, I haven’t seem a picture of Sam in a while, and he’s fourteen, my favorite age, those I taught who were so filled up with their worlds. I love this, Ruth, seeing Sam his happy self, playing jokes, too. Great to see he hasn’t changed a lot since that boy I knew a little bit years ago, always having fun & creating.
Thanks, Linda. It is good to see him becoming more of who he’s always been. 🙂
PS — He’s taller than me!
So Sam, indeed! “ He’s playful and enthusiastic. He’s busy. He invents. He creates. He dreams.
All of this is charming to me, which is not to say that Sam is always charming.”
You make me smile when you write this about him. It is lovely that he remains so uniquely himself! He charms me most when he hijacks your Instagram account.
There is so much happiness in this post Ruth. It’s good that you have him to grow with you as a mother…I do remember the stories about him that you shared with us. Another good reason to be back writing with you. The issues of commenting are still a problem though. There must be privacy controls…
I liked the way that line works — “All of this is charming to me, which is not to say that Sam is always charming.” After I wrote it, I thought: “I hope I can write more lines like that.”
I can’t beleive he is going into high school! He is such a handsome…and charming fellow! “Happiness is his default.” This line makes me smile because I know how difficult that is for some kids. And by the way, every backpack should have Twinkies!
Thank you — I was happy to stumble upon that line about happiness being a default. 🙂
I like that PS touch – and they still make twinkies? Who knew. All of this is so sweet andI love that you can anchor it to the differences in start and yes laughter will win for everyone.
What a lovely list of adjectives and verbs to describe Sam. Happiness as a default and smiles, smiles, smiles – a wonderful superpower to have.
It truly is a superpower. I’ve always said that I was able to weather being Stephanie’s mom because Sam was in the wings, keeping me lighthearted.
Oh my gosh – I love that story! I wish I could meet Sam. What a sparkle! And yes – I think the happiness in part comes from not having to overcome those childhood dark spots. It amazes me HOW MUCH those dark spots remain no matter what you do to fill them up or erase them. BUT I DO believe that HAPPINESS fill them. Small wonders (like 2 inch fish!) and happy moments do help to heal.
Thank you. I wish you could meet Sam, too!
He looks so happy………I can hardly believe he’s 14! You are so good at capturing the moment!
Thanks Mom! You’re good a capturing the moment, too…we miss “Mimi’s Musings”!
I have loved all your Sam stories. He reminds me in some ways of my niece, who is also adopted from birth, and laughs constantly. So beautiful!
Thank you. He brings joy…he is joy!
How did I get so lucky to have so many Ayres’ kids in class? But Ruth, the ps at the end is the best. I laughed out loud at the detail. Thank you for joy today!
Thanks so much. The Ayres’ crew is one that isn’t lacking personality!
Oh Sam…I love your stories about Sam. I always have. He has such joy that pours out of him. This one made me laugh too!
I’m glad to know that it made you laugh — I keep trying to hone humor in my writing!
He’s grown so much since the little boy who was Chloe’s penpal. I just love this post and it makes me smile–I’ve read it several times, just enjoying Sam.
I love the last two lines …
Perhaps this picture nourishes my soul because it is evidence that happiness and laughter can win.
PS — There are Twinkies in his backpack.
The first because it caused me to breathe in a contented, and affirmed breath.
And the second because it made me laugh out loud!!!
You are right–Sam’s playfulness is contagious. It is impossible to not be tickled by the thought of Sam delighting in the delicious guilt of tricking you all into thinking he caught that sizable fish. I especially love the text thread title. Your family is built on a foundation of whimsy. You don’t alway see the foundation, but it holds you steady nonetheless.