You know how sometimes events sneak up on you? Christmas did that to me last year. I was just trucking along and all of a sudden bam! there was Christmas. Well the same thing happened to me today when I looked at my calender to see how many weeks I had left til Sam went to school. I knew this was July, and that he started school in August, but somehow I still had it in my head that I had three or four weeks left with him. Then I was talking to my mom about how "he'll be going to school soon" (as I've been saying for months), and decided to look at my calender to see just how many weeks I had left. The answer shocked me. Next week? That can't be right... I'm going to recalculate. But as many times as I checked, I still got the same answer. It made sense, really... this is the 27th, of course the 5th is next week. Starting the middle of next week, Sam will go to school all day, every day.
Now you have to understand, Sam isn't mine. Not really. He has two parents, a sister, grandparents, aunts and uncles which I have no relation to at all. But to me, Sam is more than a kid I take care of. In fact, he's more like Samuel in the Bible - my firstborn that I don't get to keep. I got Sam when he was a mere 3 1/2 months old and I was 18. When I wasn't keeping Sam I was thinking or talking about him. I was always going around talking about the latest thing he'd learned or something funny he'd done. I poured my life into that little person and developed such a love for him that I literally wouldn't want to leave in the evenings. As far as I was concerned, he was mine. I took seriously the responsibility of caring for and teaching him, and treated him just as I would have my own. His parents became more like family than employers and before long, we were just one big happy family.
A lot has changed in these past 4 years, and he was right there in the midst of all of it. He was with me on numerous dates, waving goodbye the day I left for Ecuador, taking pictures with me the morning I got engaged, kissing me at my wedding, and coming in to see "his new sister" the morning after Selina was born. He's been far more than a job - he's been a part of my life. I look back over the years I've had with him and wonder where they went. He's certainly not a baby anymore. He now "eats" my kisses, dresses himself, and has "big boy playtime" while the current babies take morning naps. But one thing hasn't changed. I love him. He has outgrown his need for a nanny, but he will never outgrow his place in my heart. It's goodbye to this season, but not to him. Just so everyone knows, I still have first dibs when Guy and Lou Ellen need an after school or weekend babysitter!
Can't believe he was ever this small...
Before Ecuador! I love these people.
The morning I got engaged. I didn't know that at the time, of course...
"Bible time" with Knox. Some of my happiest memories :)
My sweet baby on the best day ever!
Christmas decorating 2008
With Baby Selina. One of my favorite pictures.
Summer 2010. They love each other so much :)