Sunday, 2 December 2018

Sam at eighteen

Sam was always keen on current affairs but he is less immersed now

This week marks Sam's entry into official adulthood. He has of course been "a man" for a while, could have married at 16, is allowed to drive and has voted  more than once already but what really marked the transition for him was the ability to buy himself a beer. He was delighted to be carded in the pub and be able to prove he was legal. We all have different priorities I guess. It was unfortunate that Sam's birthday fell on a Tuesday and that he had a presentation to give the next day, plus two further tests on Thursday. Sam just wanted to go to the pub, no big party or anything was planned. So it happened that Sam, Richard, myself and one of his best pals went out to the pub, then for a pizza in a place that doesn't really deserve its reputation. We then dropped the boys at a bar with pool tables and went home. Sam didn't get back until 4 am, which is impressive for a Tuesday night. In case you wonder, the presentation went well.

I remember very well the day Richard and I drove to hospital very early in the morning, to deliver this breech baby by caesarian section. We didn't know if we were going to have a boy or a girl. We couldn't agree on the babies surname. It was a most surreal experience, it really was. I remember some tugging and pulling, and a surprised consultant exclaiming "ooh, I haven't seen this in a while". It didn't sound particularly reassuring to first time parents in waiting but the baby was fine, it was his unusual cord anatomy that caused the excitement. Being in an NHS maternity hospital was a bit of a shock and having to stay for 5 days was not fun but we got home just in time to enjoy our freshly painted living room.

Sam was the cutest thing ever with a big bald head that was almost perfectly round. He had (and still has) an adorably unruly ear, the tip of which won't stay in perfect ear shape. We named him Samuel and I still think it is a name that is just right for him. We call him Sammy or Sam almost interchangeably.

Sam used to have this raucous laughter as a baby, the entire body laughed and it was unbelievably loud. I remember him shredding the Independent with stubborn determination until he was buried in small pieces of paper. He is still determined and stubborn, he knows exactly what he wants and how to achieve. Unfortunately this is not always in his own best interest but I am sure these traits will come in useful at some point.

Sam was the most inquisitive child one could possibly imagine. For his 8th birthday, he wanted the Encyclopaedia Brittanica. He was very disappointed to find a junior edition on this particular birthday morning. He won the school mastermind one year, not surprising really with so much useful and not useful general knowledge in his head.

It is really interesting to look back at all the photos of Sam growing up. His mannerisms and facial expressions haven't changed much and although his face much more angular now, he is still very recognisable my little Sammy.

Sam the grown-up is really just a big boy. Very mature some days, unbelievably immature and naive on other days. He drives us all crazy with his casual laziness, his teenage selfishness and his habit to squirrel away cutlery. On the other hand, he is always happy to help out with the little ones, and now even speaks to his sister.

Sammy likes to eat and he likes to cook but unfortunately his food is often not palatable. He likes his food fried and drenched with chilli sauce, the hottest variety possible. He does make a mean sourdough bread though and also excellent croissants. He likes to experiment and I am sure with experience, his casual interpretation of recipes will lead to more enjoyable meals. Here's to hope!

Sam seems to be doing well at university and is an active student involved in a few student union activities. He claims to attend all classes and I am inclined to believe him as so far, he has passed all assessments. He is a loyal friend to his high school pals but has made some new friends, too. It is an odd mix of friends, I am not sure what draws them to each other but I am happy he has friends.

I worry daily about all sorts of things. In a way, it would be better if he moved out - what I can't see won't worry me.... but maybe not. He is planning to move out in summer and thinks he can live on £30 per week. I suggested he increased his working hours, he is currently washing dishes once a week, one seven hour shift and he is clearly not bothered about monotonous hard work. His active mind probably relishes the relative boredom, time to think.

Sam is socially competent and is equally happy to banter with his pals and converse politely with my middle aged friends. He knows a lot but some of his opinions are not as nuanced as they probably should be. He likes to provoke an argument and loves heated discussions.

I could go on and on and on but I'll leave it at this, some random thoughts about my oldest child.

Thanks for stopping by and saying hello. I have some catching up to do with many of you but I am  firmly stuck on the hamster wheel that is my life and it might be a few days.... Have a lovely week.

Christina xx


  1. Happy Birthday Sam! Wow Christina you have made a grown up - congratulations to you too. Hope this week isn't too gruelling on the work front. I am still cleaning quarry tiles to put into our new house. Ho Hum. Jo xx

  2. Lovely to look back to the early days of your young man. I agree it’s better when they are away at eighteen. What you don’t see you definitely don’t worry about. I’m sure he will develop into to a great person, he’s had all the right support. Happy birthday Sam ! B x

  3. Happy Birthday to Sam. Isn't it fun to compare the "now" with the " then".

  4. Happy birthday Sam, he sounds like a truly amazing boy, you should be very proud of him. Living at home will no doubt save him a lot of money, but I can well imagine it's hard for you! I love that he does plenty of cooking, no doubt it will become more to your taste in time! CJ xx

  5. Happy Birthday to Sam from across the pond as they say.

    I think you've given very even-handed report.

  6. What a lovely post :)
    I'd say I hope he had a good birthday, but I'm guessing he probably did, rolling in at 4am!

  7. Happy Birthday to Sam. This is a lovely tribute.

  8. Yes Happy Birthday to your son. Was lovely to read about him.

  9. What a beautiful post, Christina. I really enjoyed it. Happy Birthday to Sam! I almost named my son Samuel, did you know that? I don't think I've mentioned it. But I was talked out of it by my mother-in-law, whose father had that name and she'd had a bad relationship with him, so didn't want me to use it. But it had also been my great-grandfather's name and he was terrific, so I wish I hadn't listened. Water under the bridge now. Interesting about his cord at birth too; when I was pregnant with my daughter, they'd mistakenly thought her cord had two blood vessels instead of the expected three, which can be an indication of health problems. We were very concerned, but then surprise, they announced that they had misread an ultrasound scan. Yikes, I don't need surprises like that. I hope that Sam has a wonderful year ahead. He sounds like a fantastic young man and I know you are very proud of him.

  10. Happy Birthday Sam. What a wonderful read, he is certainly making his mark. Wishing him a great year ahead.

  11. What a wonderful post about your lovely first born. wishing Sam a very happy (belated) birthday and a fabulous year ahead xxx

  12. I too am sure that if your son reads this post he will be more than well pleased with his mother's presentation of him. Belated birthday wishes and I was amazed that the pool place was open into the wee hours of the next morning, but then I've never been to one.

  13. Happy Birthday Sam. It looks like you have done a magnificent job of raising him and he is that teenage mix of wonderful with a dash of infuriating from time to time.


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