I am Sam

There’s a book I want to recommend. It’s amazing. It’s got everything, drama, conflict, danger, suspense, and a happy ending. The book completely took me by surprise, but by the end I had a huge, stupid smile on my face, and my eyes were moist with tears.

Admittedly, I am a pretty emotional, wussy sort of fellow. Especially vulnerable to this kind of book. I blame the last four and a half years of parenting.

It’s as if the whole parenting experience has had two primary purposes, to bring a new person into the world, and to show me how rubbish I am. For me parenting has been, above all else, humbling. What a know-it-all wind-bag I was before I had children. What a preposterous, smug, plonker. When I used to see people struggling with apparently feral children, I didn’t think “Wow, parenting must be really hard”, I thought, “When I’m a parent, I’ll show them how it’s done.”

Turns out I have no idea how it’s done. The joke is so entirely on me that I expect people at the supermarket to just start pointing and laughing at me as my children run amok. I say and do the things I thought would work before I had children, over and over again, and none of it seems to work. At all. Quite often things get significantly worse. My children don’t do as I say, they don’t learn what I’m trying to teach them. In fact, the more I try, the more they seem to willfully regress. It feels as though the one thing they excel at is making me look stupid. Not that hard, admittedly.

And then, suddenly, out of nowhere, after literally a few days at proper school, after every effort I’ve made over the last several years has apparently completely failed, they do something that may seem trivial, but to me is jaw-droppingly amazing.

Anyway, the book I’m talking about is called “Sam”. It’s not very long. In fact, it goes exactly like this. “I am Sam. Sit Sam. Sam sit. Sit. Sam. Sam Sat.”

My son read it to me.

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