Sam's birthday is tomorrow. We're celebrating tonight, and I'm looking forward to all the hoopla - dressing him in his hanbok, doing the Toljabee (see http://www.lifeinkorea.com/culture/tol/tol.cfm if you don't know what this is), singing the happy birthday song, lighting his one candle and watching Alex "help" him blow it out, and giving him his presents. For some reason I'm feeling really happy about this milestone. He has made it to ONE! Even though I know his sweet little "tiny baby" days are over, I am looking forward to all the FUN stuff we'll be doing together. I think having Alex as the "prequel" helped. :-)
Of course, the one-to-two age range is difficult as well. Dangerous combination of mobility and utter cluelessness. Sam is already more mobile than I'm comfortable with. Today, for example, I caught him with his hands in the toilet again, and this was shortly after he learned he CAN tip over the kitchen trash can and sample the contents. I got him in bed for a nap and went to fold laundry, only to discover the little "present" he had left me - a puddle of baby puke on the carpet next to my bed. (And yet for some reason I still LOVE, love LOVE the little punker! You mommies and daddies out there understand.)
Had a dream last night that he emptied a bowl of hot wax over his head. Don't ask me how there came to be a bowl of hot wax, but I just had that terrible sinking feeling as (in the dream) I was picturing him in the burn unit. I do worry more about Mr. Go-getter Sam hurting himself than I do with Alex. Trying to dance the fine line between being extra-vigilant and being the dreaded and scorned "over-protective" mother. It still irks me when Bryan pooh-poohs my "mommy safety rules," such as no balloons in the house (choking hazard) or no whole grapes for kids under 3. Even seemingly innocent things can turn deadly: on Easter, I was enjoying a quiet moment with my Time magazine when I heard Sam whimpering. Looked up and saw he had gotten his plastic Easter bucket handle around his neck and was stuck. He can find a way to make anything dangerous, that boy.
Anyway...back to Sam's birthday. This blog entry would not be complete without a mention of Sam's first mother, his Korean mother. Even though we've never met, I've been thinking about her a lot as his birthday approaches. How is she doing? How must she feel as this date approaches and she remembers it all - being pregnant and alone, going into labor, giving birth to this healthy boy with the fuzzy black hair sticking straight up from his head - all of it knowing this was her son - and yet she could not be his mother. :-( Did she hold him? Rock him? Sing to him? As happy as I am to have the privilege of being Sam's mom, I can't help feeling sad for her. Wherever she is, I wish her peace in her heart.
The adoption agency in Korea keeps a file for each child. If Sam's first mother ever wants to, she can come back (secretly, probably) and see his pictures and letters we send. Every time I send an update, I hope she will eventually see it. Even if it's painful, I so want her to know what a great little man he is and how much we love him.