You have surprised me this year. I thought I had you figured out, what I needed to worry about, your strengths and your weaknesses. I was wrong. I am just beginning to know who you are.
We used to call you relentless. You still are sometimes, but not as often. The relentlessness has been tapered by a new maturity that allows you to stop. To listen.
My sister once said, “Sweet is not a word I would apply to Max,”. As the baby in the family you were a tiny bit… dare I say… entitled.
I don’t know if it’s being a big brother, or being six and then seven, but you are now infinitely sweet. You play with AJ, give him toys, carry him around, share with your siblings, write notes to “Mom” where the O is a heart and told me yesterday, “I wish our whole family could go together (to the park). It’s better when everyone’s there.” When I take you on lunch dates you often ask if Dad, or a sibling can come too.
You’ve always asked excellent questions. But they were in the realm of, “why is the sky blue.”
Last night we were talking about the symbolism of light. About how it symbolizes goodness, truth, clarity, and chases out the darkness. Josh went off into physics, about particles and waves, dichotomy, complexity… You looked at me and said, “But Mom if you look directly at the light it hurts your eyes. How is that good?” I’m still trying to decide if that’s where the metaphor breaks down, or if there is something to symbolically learn from that.
You are quieter than you used to be, a little more serious, obedient at school. But when you get home you can’t wait to run back out the door, and move, until bedtime. When I make you stop and tell me “five things” about your day. You tick them off on your fingers. “I played tag at recess, we ate lunch, I did math, I read a book, and I sat by Tru,” and then you’re gone again. When I make you stop for dinner you always ask, “Can I go back out after?”
You didn’t used to love listening to long books. This summer you earned a free book from Barnes and Noble. I squealed when I saw that Jack was one of your options (books are my thing so yes I squealed, and I love all the books in that series). You smiled at me and picked it even though it was above your reading level. We’ve read it together almost every night since – you follow the story, predict what will happen, and laugh – you have the best laugh – it’s pure spontaneity and joy.
You are honest about your fears.
You used to hate writing. I have to twist your arm to make you write three, not one sentence, in your homework. But, lately we have been writing in journals for three minutes at night and you have never once complained. You let me read it. Proudly showing me your writing and your thoughts, asking to be seen.
Your older two siblings groan when I make plans for us. They no longer like to go to the park/library/hike. You still ask me to ride scooters/play games/look at the stars. I try to say yes because someday it will end and you will have morphed into another equally marvelous self. Different but fundamentally the same.
Thanks for letting me be your mom, my perfectionist, cover your assets playing, killer smile, amazing son who likes to do his own hair because you “do it better than me”,
P.S. Please stop waking up at 5:30 to see if it snowed. Even if it’s cold enough to snow, it’s still rare in St. George. I promise I will wake you up if it happens.