Samuel: A Love Story

I’ve told the story before but it bears repeating that I always knew Sam would come to me someday. Back in the years of longing for a child, aching with hope each month and then sinking with desperate disappointment when, again, I wasn’t pregnant, his was the face I saw. Or rather, the person I felt. It was his sweetness, his sensitivity, his big heart that I felt, but if pressed to really describe it, I would say I felt his undying, unconditional love.

Then when I was finally (!) pregnant with Maia and found out she was a girl, I was in shock. The person I had felt, who carried me through the darkness, was definitely my son – named Sam. People suggested that perhaps it was my daughter I had been feeling. Maybe her name was Sam? I knew that wasn’t right.

And of course Maia was (is) amazing. Incredibly funny and witty and reliable – she makes the best big sister anyone could ask for. She’s quietly, subtly changing the world with the graceful movement of her proverbial butterfly wings. Thank God she came first.

And then there was Nora Rose. Oh Nora. Books could (and will) be written about that girl.

In the midst of the sleepless nights and the first days of school and the summer colds and the cookies baked, I had all but forgotten about my Sam. He was there of course, but I must have been mistaken. My life was so full and love was all around me, intensely through Nora and light and airy through Maia.

When I found out I was pregnant again, I assumed it was a girl. Of course it would be a girl. We began to think of names for girls. We scheduled the 20 week ultrasound convinced it would be a girl. And then.


It’s a boy!

With a rush, it all came back to me. That sweet boy who surrounded me with hopeful, unconditional love all those years ago – it was THIS boy! He was coming to us now, his arrival perfectly timed to have amazing older siblings to teach him and temper his sweetness. I was again in shock that this was happening; this was reality.

And then he came. After weeks of early labor and about 5 hours of harder labor, he arrived in a swimming pool in our hallway with Maia there to witness. 11:11pm: the ‘I Love You’ time. August 15, 2012.


Samuel Craig Fromm Rieland

All that I sensed years ago is true: he’s sweet, he’s sensitive, he’s smart and witty.

And there’s more that I couldn’t know at the time: he has an incredible sense of his body in his environment. He uses physical spaces in ways I would never have thought of – and with almost no fear.


Sam on his first birthday.

He’s also funny and quirky and manages to make even skeptical older sisters laugh.


Sam’s second birthday.

He loves Rescue Bots and transformers and playing on the beach. His play is driven and focused and clever. Give him a string and a Rescue Bot and he will play for hours – even longer if he has a slightly patient Nora Rose playing too.


Sam’s third birthday.

And he’s patient and thoughtful. Even when he was a tiny baby, I remember saying “it’s weird but I feel like I can reason with him.” He wears his heart on his sleeve. The moments when he’s most sad, it’s usually because he’s heartbroken. He’s been corrected or knows he’s messed up or someone has bruised his heart. But he’s quick to recover with a hug and a kiss and a funny joke.


Sweet Sam today at four years old.

And so somehow that little boy who I envisioned is here with us now. He’s all that I felt around me and so, so much more. What an unbelievable honor it is to be his mom and to watch his life unfold. I am so lucky to be loved by him.


Me and my boy.

I will always love you Sam.

Love, Mama

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