Recently at Friday Play Shoppe, we’ve read the book, “You Can Do It, Sam” by Amy Hest.
It’s the story of Mrs. Bear and her young son, Sam, who are baking little holiday cakes to deliver to all of their friends on Plum Street.
As they jostle along through the very early snowy morning on Plum Street delivering the cakes, Mrs. Bear stopped at the first house. “Here we are, Sam. I’ll wait here and you take the cake.”
“All by myself?” whispered Sam.
“Go, go, go. You can do it, Sam” said Mrs. Bear, putting her arm around him.
This is the point where I sense the most wide-eyed concern and interest in the listening children’s eyes – concern I think for Sam – can he really do it – all alone – could they really do it all alone?
But yes, Sam does do it. He trudges through the snow at each house they stop at, leaving the special cake at each door.
And when he returned to the truck and his mom, Sam said “I did it!” and Mrs. Bear responded with quiet confidence “of course”.
What a gentle non-preachy, down-t0-earth story this is – a celebration of the small but tender moments in our children’s lives – maybe still in our own lives – that help us grow in confidence and spirit.
Out shopping for a Christmas tree recently, my husband and I were approached by a young employee about 16 or 17 years old, who confidently asked if he could help us. I took a second look at him – I sensed a hint of familiarity there – and asked him, “Are you Sam?”
He said yes. This is a Sam I knew from many Play Shoppes ago- from babyhood, toddlerhood, preschool. And like the Sam in the book, I know he’s probably asked the same question to himself and his mom many times over the years – perhaps even before taking this job.
“All by myself?” and heard his mom say “you can do it Sam!”
And he could. And so can we all – tell ourselves, tell our loved ones – “you can do it”.