There are many things I love about my husband. The biggest thing is that he makes me laugh like no other person I have known. Add to that that he drove me thirty minutes to my ultrasound appointment after the doctor mix-up, and I’m convinced. He’s a good guy — the best.
During our many conversations about whether our baby will be a girl or a boy, he has mentioned his own proclivities as a child. He collected snakes, lizards, turtles. His snapping turtle ate his other turtles. One of his snakes surprised his mother when she opened the bathroom door. He created “battle wounds” in his G.I. Joe soldiers, and melted or exploded many of his toys. He also tells me about the numerous items that he took apart with a butter knife before he got a legitimate screwdriver set. In a later stage of life, he decided that he was a ninja, and later, a skater with athleticism and coordination that I cannot begin to comprehend. Recently, he told me that he would line up garbage bins and jump them … just for fun.
What was I doing in the meantime? I could probably be found reading Roald Dahl or Madeleine L’Engle. I had completed The Hobbit by third grade. I hid in the library during class, or I was caught chatting with teachers while I was supposed to be working on reading I’d probably already completed. I spent days in my playhouse creating art, writing stories, or daydreaming. I made mud pies and “mixtures” in the yard, but I always washed properly afterward. Later, surely, I would become more complicated and mock my mother’s authority, but as a young lady, I was just that: a young lady.
I always envisioned myself as the mother of a little girl just like me. I would teach her the joys of books and arts and crafts, and I would teach her how to cook and sew — activities that I so enjoy now. I would take her shopping for beautiful little dresses, fix her hair as my mother did for me, and hold her when she cried about unrequited love. Of course, I would also teach her to appreciate science fiction, the offbeat writing of authors like Roald Dahl, and above all, I would encourage her imagination to expand and soar, just as mine had.
Well, I must prepare myself for snakes, and it is feasible that we will have to mend battle wounds on multiple toys. Today, we found out that our baby is a boy. Just as I suspected, my child’s ferocious movements are preparing him for jumping fences, garbage cans, and tending to overgrown snapping turtles. I am still prepared to teach arts and crafts, create stories together, and read The Twits and The BFG. I suspect that this young boy will also enjoy some of the other things I love: mud pies, Miyazaki movies, and hiding out during thunderstorms. Above all, I will encourage his imagination to expand and soar.
Our boy will be named after both of our grandfathers. Samuel Rhoderick, the names of two extraordinary men. We’re going to call him Sam.
Sam, we love you.