From the moment he was born, I had a feeling this boy was going to chart his own course through this world...just as he did his entry into it.
|My favorite just-born baby picture of all time. He's all, What the hell was THAT about?"|
In the five years since the whirlwind that was his birth, Max has begun to pave that way and, though this road may be one less-traveled, it is beautiful.
As is always the case, the view is better when you take the scenic route...
He is, more than anyone else I've ever known in this world, Himself.
(Which is kind of ironic because he's nearly always pretending to be someone else in the rich world of make-believe that is his imagination. The dress-up drawer is always open, and when there are no costumes to be worn, we improvise...)
He's not swayed by other peoples' opinions or ideas or judgments....
Though he is deeply interested in what's going on in the minds and hearts of others.
(...and, sometimes, in current events...)
He's just Max.
He wears what he wants to wear.
He dances how he wants to dance.
He plays what he wants to play.
He creates what he wants to create.
He says what he needs to say.
The other night, bedtime was spiraling downward into a complete disaster.
No one was getting jammied or brushed or combed as we were asking them to.
Instead, there was wrestling, running, squealing, and towel-throwing.
I was getting Molly dressed in her room and Max just Would. Not. Stop. Singing.
Loudly. In her face.
She was laughing for the moment, but getting irritated, and
OMG--no one is getting ready for bed and the clock is ticking!!
"Max! Just go. To your room. Get dressed. NOW." I said. Loudly.
He looked at me. His eyes betrayed his feelings. He was hurt and offended.
Shoulders slumped, he left the room to get dressed.
Later, once everyone was jammied and brushed and combed and ready for bed, I walked into his room to tuck him in. He was sitting on his floor, eyes downcast.
"Mommy, I need you to come back in later so I can tell you something important," he said, refusing to meet my eye.
"You can tell me now, baby. What is it?"
"No. It has to be later. When I'm ready."
"Well, I'll be reading to Molly 'later,' and Daddy will be reading to you. Can you be ready now?"
[Deep sigh.] "Fine....It's just that...remember before when you told me to leave Molly's room?"
"Well, that pretty much hurt my feelings."
"It did? Well, do you know why I said that?"
"Because I wasn't following directions."
"Yup. And that pretty much hurt my feelings, too."
"I'm sorry I hurt your feelings, Max."
"I'm sorry I hurt your feelings, too, Mommy."
"I love you, Max."
"I know. We're best friends again, 'kay, Mommy?"
Let's always be best friends, 'kay, Max?
I'll share you with your other besties...Evan, Molly...
...and your ever-increasing number of Best School Friends.
I'll share you with anyone...just as long as they know how lucky they are to be in your life.
I love your heart and
I love that you wear it on your sleeve for all to see...and to fall in love with.
The world needs more love.
The world needs more silliness.
The world needs more sparkle.
At the risk of sounding melodramatic:
The world needs more Max.
I'm the luckiest Mama.
Happy, happy birthday, my five-year old Love.
May all of your big dreams come true....
....and may you continue to chart your own course.
We'll be right beside you along the way, 'kay?