Well, here is the last installment of the Goodson kids. Andrew Dean is our middle child and the most gentle soul I've ever met. He is so much like his father he is routinely referred to as 'Little Robbie'. He even sees it in himself and will giggle after a particularly 'Robbie' action or saying.
Andy was the miracle we never thought we'd have. We found out he was on the way when Key was ten months old. Stunned would be an understatement. Joy would also not do it justice. A 'free' child, out of the blue, not the result of testing and shots and endless waiting. A blessing we didn't dare hope for nor even deserve. All of his brother's firsts were going to be repeated, and it was just too good to be true.
We didn't find out the gender, yet again, but we were somehow convinced that Andy was a girl. He was so different, in utero. His brother slept for nine months. Andy kick boxed. He could literally throw me off balance as I walked. He kept his father awake at night with his constant motion. We were a bit scared at what this all might mean. We named him Natalie.
And then HE was here. And we couldn't call him Natalie anymore. We threw names at him until the nurse insisted that we pick one and stick with it. We gazed at him and he gazed back with eyes that seemed to say he'd been here for a long time. We called him a little old man and named him after Andy Griffith and his grandfather, Harold Dean. Andrew Dean it was, but don't dare call him Andrew now. He can't stand it.
From the start he was my shadow. He needed me, and only me, for at least the first year of his life. If there is a picture of us together, he is smiling. If I took the picture, meaning I was an arms length away, he is crying. Many, many, many nights he slept right beside me, my pinky finger as his pacifier. When dad isn't home, he still sleeps with me. Thankfully, I get to keep all of my fingers now!
Andy is the sweetest child I've ever met. And I am not just saying that because I am his mother. Any adult who spends time with Andy eventually finds me to tell me the same thing. As we walk together down the halls at his school, teachers I don't know stop to tell me what a special child he is.
Andy is helpful. He can sweep the house like nobody's business. He volunteers to help with anything I am doing. He is an extremely hard worker, never gives up. We spread mulch one day for hours and hours and he never left my side. His siblings abandoned us within a half hour, but not my Andy. When he has pulled all of the weeds in the garden he sits on the railroad ties waiting for a new one to pop up.
Andy loves to read. He learned to read within just a few days of starting kindergarten. It was as if they just flipped a switch and he knew. He read the first Harry Potter book to me before he turned seven. Every. Single. Word.
Andy is an expert lizard catcher. He loves all living creatures and has a shelf of reference books on fish, reptiles, shells, snakes, etc. He can name almost every vertebrate just by looking at it's skeleton. He is like a sponge when animal knowledge is available. His plan is to be an animal dentist when he grows up.
Andy started asking us if he could play the violin when he was three. We finally found a teacher, and a tiny violin, when he was four. He just turned seven in February so this is his 3rd year of lessons. He won an honorable mention from South Carolina in the Reflections contest recently. He composed and performed a song. Actually, he wrote over ten songs and chose one of his favorites to perform. The wobbly little notes he drew were adorable!
Andy isn't perfect. He has no use for napkins nor underwear and avoids using both. If he has eaten since his last bath, you'll know exactly what it was by looking at his cheeks. And you can tell where he sat to eat it. The underwear thing....not sure what is so offensive about them. He also couldn't keep his shoes tied if his life depended on it. We have a stash of new shoe strings just waiting to go in his shoes. He also routinely clashes with his little sister. Those two are like oil and water.
I wish I had more words to describe Andy. He is so much more than I can adequately portray here. But I hope you have enjoyed getting to know him a little through my thoughts. The boy is pure joy to his dad and me.