Empty Room

“Daddy just left and I’m so happy.” This was the text that I got from Sam today. This would, in the past, have been followed by another text about the argument that they had gotten into or how Craig just doesn’t “get”him. Instead, it was followed by “Tears of joy, mom. He was so proud of me. This was the best 10 days I’ve ever spent with him.”

When we found out that Sam was a boy, Craig was thrilled to be having a son. We started immediately painting his room with sports-related items. We had a mural painted of a baseball field with players in the stands yelling “Go Sam!” I had several baby showers and I received more Sam sports-related gifts than you can imagine (we were not shy about telling everyone Sam’s name before he was born.) My friend Heather worked for the Major League Player’s Association and she sent me every single pennant, bobble head and AZ Diamondbacks merchandise out there. We put Sam in a baseball outfit for his bris (Jewish circumcision ceremony), in honor of all the baseball-playing Jews.

The minute he could talk, Sam told us he hated sports and he hated his baseball room. So, if anyone out there has a son named Sam who likes sports, I have a coat rack, towels and posters for you. He also would not wear any t-shirts that had anything sports-related on them, which is pretty hard when shopping for 3 or 4 year old boy clothing. He has a lot of shirts with guitars and music notes on them (which, of course, Aidan doesn’t like. He likes shirts that say Ninjago.)

Sam and Craig are very different in many ways. They have had many rocky years trying to figure each other out once Sam told us of his passion for acting. However, I have always known that they are actually very similar in many ways. This week has hopefully changed all of that and they can build on their new relationship.

When I first started working as a criminal defense attorney 14 years ago, I had the pleasure of working with a young attorney named Woody Thompson. I remember his wife having twin boys at the same time I had Lauren, and I remember when their 3rd child, a boy named Ronan, was born. I was so jealous they had a 3rd child, because Craig initially did not want any more children (Craig’s favorite saying was “We have a boy and a girl. Why do we need more?”) Woody is still a defense attorney, and I run into him in court quite often. He is also a basketball coach for my friend Juile’s son’s team. He is a wonderful person, and a devoted father and husband.

Last year, Ronan passed away from cancer before his 4th birthday. It started as a bump on his forehead and quickly progressed. Ronan fought so hard and his mom, Maya, has a wonderful blog about her amazing fight against childhood cancer (www.rockstarronan.com) I urge you to all read it and to donate to the foundation they have set up. Last year, Taylor Swift wrote a song called “Ronan” based on Maya’s blog and using Maya’s words. She sang it on Stand Up to Cancer Live this year. All proceeds from the sale of the song go to The Ronan Thompson foundation. Woody and Maya were recently on “The Katie Couric” show talking about Ronan and their vow to help cure childhood cancer. Maya is due any day now with a brand new baby, a girl. I know it will not change what has happened, but I’m glad they get to share their love with another child.

Today I walked by Sam’s room and felt sad that it has been empty of him for 3 months. But, I am so grateful that I know he will be back in there when the tour ends. And, I’m extremely grateful that he and Craig got to spend such incredible one on one time together. So many parents would kill for this type of one on one time with their child. I know the Thompsons would give anything to have had more time with Ronan.

So, why wait everyone out there? Plan something special with each of your children. It doesn’t have to be anything grand. Just something that both of you will always remember. There are no guarantees in this world that our issues with the people we love will be resolved before it’s our time to go. So, why not do it now?

Postcript: 30 minutes after I posted this, I found out that Maya had her baby today. Congrats to the Thompsons on your new baby girl!

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4 Responses to Empty Room

  1. Linda Pauley says:

    What beautiful words…..there you go again, Allyson…..making me cry. *sniff, sniff*
    I downloaded Ronan’s song about 10-seconds after I heard Taylor Swift sing it on national TV. I didn’t realize you know his family. What a small, small world we live in.
    Looking at the picture of Craig and Sam, it gives us all a snapshot of what future Sam’s going to look like when he’s all grown up…..and a father someday. 😉

  2. Sue stegemoller says:

    Ugh you always know how to make me cry

  3. Wendy Lieberman says:

    I love your blog, it is really touching.

  4. Robyne says:

    Yes indeed!!!

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