I can hardly even think about all of this without tearing up. What a milestone. For us, and for Samuel Nehemiah Smith, III. This kid is putting me over the emotional edge this year. One, he’s my baby. Two, our last to graduate college. Three, (drum roll) he’s also getting married later this summer!!!! It is a lot to process.
My heart is so full. It’s bursting. (That’s either a beautiful visual, or a bloody one. The former please.)
He is such a sensitive and loving soul. When he was little, a simple disapproving look was all that was needed. Not that I believe in it, but no spanking necessary. He wanted to go to bed, early, as a toddler. No bedtime battles ever. He was willing to try everything we offered him to eat, including squid on a stick, which he loved.
He has a heart of compassion and early on he realized it is better to give than receive. As a child he was constantly trying to give away his favourite toys to others. At age 4 he disappeared during the birthday party we had for his au pair, Svenja. He reappeared a few minutes later with his prized race track, wrapped in a kitchen towel, to give to her for a birthday present.
Even though he was often the youngest in his grade, his maturity level surpassed most of his classmates. He was kind, helpful, and never got into trouble. We loved going to his parent/teacher conferences to soak up all the positivity. :)
The acting bug followed Samuel throughout his life, beginning in preschool, then grade school when he played Caesar, followed by numerous other musicals and productions, including playing Jesus on a mission trip in the Dominican Republic. His last production was at Seattle Pacific University, and we were privileged to be there for that one too.
Traveling was a big part of our life when Samuel was little and we enjoyed so many amazing experiences. It stands to reason he was also bitten by the travel bug. We sent him alone to Rome one summer in High School, and to Normandy, France one spring break in college. As a huge history buff, those trips fulfilled a couple items on his bucket list. The mission trips we took as a family, when he was in grade school through high school, contributed to that huge heart of compassion for others. Traveling to Indonesia and Morocco during the past 4 years of college continued to fuel that. He has the biggest heart for others and for making the world a better place. (Where have we seen that before? -It is in their genes.)
Samuel embraced his faith as a small child. Even ‘evangelizing’ his neighborhood friends at their house, which resulted in him being sent home early one day. :) The evolution of his faith has been inspirational. He has taught me so much.
I’m not so ready to let him go. Not that it is my decision. Sending him off to Seattle for university has probably helped me in that transition… a little, a wee little.
It was there at Seattle Pacific University where he met Sarah Michelle Andrews, the girl he will now marry. She is a gift. She exudes the same joy for life and the ability to see beauty everywhere. They share a high level of happiness, and sense of humor, and a certain ‘go with the flow.’ They care deeply for others and so obviously for each other. They are simply two extroverts enjoying the journey of life. We look forward to the future with them.
Pray for Samuel and Sarah as they begin life as husband and wife beginning August 7, 2015, and as Samuel begins law school at Gonzaga a few weeks after that. We are thankful for so many who poured into Samuel’s life over the past 21 years. Grateful beyond all reason.
Truly our greatest joy in life has been raising our kids. Enjoying them as adults has raised that bar.
Love you Bubba! Congratulations to you and Sarah as you graduate. We wish you all the best and look forward to celebrating your future with you!!
Love, Me, and Dad too!