|Truly, my illustrations do not do his handsomeness any justice.|
Fourteen years ago today, I became a mother. By the soft, natural light of early morning, we welcomed First Born Son, Max. I was surrounded by The Mr., my mother and my best friend, R whose enlivened faces had only moments earlier encouraged me to power on just a little further so that I may meet him. They were the first to see that my boy had, of all physical attributes, a full head of red hair. It was a playful, unexpected twist as I always imagined my children to take on what I thought were my dominant qualities, dark hair and skin.
Much has been written about the profound moment of holding your child for the first time- the feeling of holding your heart in your hands. I felt all that: relief, accomplishment, gratitude, awe and weight. I was amazed at how substantial my 8lb 9oz tightly swaddled bundle felt when I held him in my arms the first time. He felt like an anchor; but, it was not in the way of a burden. He was the ballast which flooded me with a sense of security. His two dark eyes peered out from the bindings of his warm flannel hospital blanket and cap with a sense of knowing and acceptance. “You seem like fine parents. We’re going to get along famously.” It just felt right. He was who he was supposed to be, as was I. Son. Mother.
Max was the ideal baby. He slept well, ate well, and rolled with any changes we imposed upon him. Fourteen years later (aside from his lack of willingness to eat well balanced meals), not much has changed. The list of glowing adjectives to describe him could flow like beautiful ribbons through the streets of
. Some of the most fitting are: bright, forgiving, patient, engaging, entertaining, thoughtful, benevolent, amiable, athletic; and on and on flow the ribbons. He is among other things-First born. Oldest son. Oldest brother. Mr. Chatterbox- Mr. Social. Handsome. He always has the eye of the older girls at school. They swarm around him and look out for him. Empathetic (except for when it comes to his younger brother). Max is the hesitant one. He says "NO" all the way to the "first time"- but after the first try- he masters the skill and enjoys the experience fully- putting his all into it- always sad to see the end (the end of his first professional acting experience, the end of the soccer season, the end of the school year). As a child in this family, he has set the bar high. And, luckily his siblings look up to him (whether they will admit to it or not) because they follow (whether they will admit it or not) his goodness, his strength, his thoughtfulness, his quiet courage, his endurance, his humor, his love of his family. I couldn't have imagined a better first. Yes, he is still teenager-ish and I’ve highlighted his antics in previous posts. But, honestly the list of disagreeable idiosyncrasies is not very noteworthy. Buffalo, NY
Fourteen years ago, he was the greatest early Christmas gift I could have ever received. He is the gift that keeps on giving. Happy Birthday, Max!
Here is the birthday card I made for him. In a world filled with drones and droids, his uniqueness shines.