He's fourteen today, this amazing man child of ours. That just seems so crazy.

Fourteen.

Life with Sam is intricate and as full of endless possibility as the Legos he's so crazy about. We never really know what he'll construct next.

One of the greatest joys in my life is watching Sam working to keep a straight face when he's trying not to laugh while telling a joke or a story of some sort.

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His beautiful brown eyes sparkle, and his eyebrows come together in a fierce frown for all of two seconds... and then he bursts into laughter.

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He is completely mainstreamed at school. He's doing well grade wise with A's and B's except for a C in math. Pre-algebra gives this concrete literal thinker fits. Seventh grade is quite a transition in a classical school, and we weren't sure how he would do but true to form Samuel surprised us with how well he adjusted. All of the kids in his class are great but there are three boys that go above and beyond to show friendship to a kid who isn't going to give it back the same way. Community is a big deal to him and he keeps his class picture on his bed shelf. It's also not unusual for him to have the last seven years worth of yearbooks open to his class' page laid out in chronological order.


I mentioned his love of Legos. And, oh my, does he ever love them. His floor is usually covered with them and it really isn't safe to walk in his room barefooted. I tried to separate them all by colors and it just seemed to inhibit his creativity, so now we have two giant flat bins that fit under his bed to house his collection.

He's made some pretty amazing things...he delights in creating various famous characters that he thinks should have their own Lego set. Olaf, Grumpy Cat, Mario, and Minions are at the top of that list.

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He designs and builds his own creatures too and also comes up with these really elaborate stories and scenarios for each one. It's pretty fascinating to hear him tell you about each one whether it's their nifty features or the personality he gives them in a story. Please note the little tan Mixel in the background making bunny ears behind his blue friend.

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He doesn't limit his creativity to Legos though. He draws the most amazing cartoons. Like the hilarious cartoon he made illustrating Grandma Got Ran over By a Reindeer and underneath it was a second cartoon of Olaf yelling, "Stop it Sven!" with Kristoff looking rather sheepish next to his pet reindeer. I wasn't fast enough to grab a picture of it. Or of the time he drew the Marvel comic heroes as Minions - you have not seen funny until you see the Hulk as a Minion.

His sense of humor is hysterical - and somewhat exasperating since something will stay funny to him waaaay longer than it does to the rest of us.

The Sunday funnies, Calvin and Hobbs, and Far Side figure regularly in his reading line up. But he's read The Horse and His Boy by CS Lewis and Hemingway's The Old Man and The Sea for this nine weeks boni libris, so I guess he's pretty well rounded.

He enjoys Star Wars, Harry Potter and anything ever made by Pixar. The Lego Movie, of course, is a huge favorite. That sound track was probably the single biggest mistake as a gift that has ever been purchased in the history of the world. Everything is NOT awesome. Especially when it's on endless repeat at 6:30 in the morning.

He also has the sound tracks for Mama Mia and Shrek, and his taste in music is quite eclectic. Oldies, Bob Marley, Plumb, She and Him, and Jack Johnson are all on his current play list. He doesn't care for country music, and is all about today's hits when it comes to the radio.


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Oh my goodness, that smile of his. It's so contagious!


He's huge and takes great delight in hugging me and tucking my head under his chin. A razor needs to be in his near future and his feet grew two sizes in three months. He eats all.of.the.time.


It is hard to write a post about Sam without any mention of autism. But as he is growing up I am realizing more and more that autism doesn't define who he is, but rather Sam is defining and redefining what autism is all the time.

I have no idea what the future holds for this wonderful man child we have but I am amazed at how God is shaping and forming him and using him to shape and form us.

I love his sense of humor and way of thinking. I love how he draws mash ups of Pac Man with Little Red Riding Hood. And how he thinks high fives and fist bumps are for the guys and when I try to do it with him he gives me this odd look tinged with pity that I just don't get it and gives me a hug while patting my shoulder. Usually saying "I love ya, Mama!"  He is a simple complex walking paradox fashioned just as he is to reflect the glory of His creator.

My prayer for you, Samuel David, on this your fourteenth birthday is that you will always be comfortable in who you are and that you will live life savoring every good and perfect gift that God has given you. Because we savor every moment we have with you. You are a blessing and a treasure to us. Happy birthday, sweet boy of mine!


Be of good courage,
and let us be courageous for our people,
and for the cities of our God,
and may the LORD do what seems good to Him.

2 Samuel 10:12



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