Monday, December 3, 2007

Just my biased opinion

My boy, Max.

Today is Max's birthday. He is turning seven and I am literally wondering where the time has gone since that sweet thing was curled up on my chest sleeping peacefully.

Those cheeky cheeks, the deep baby blue eyes so full of trust. Why was I chosen to be a mother to this precious little person? How am I worthy?

Max isn't like most other 7 year old boys, you see (yeah, of course I am biased, but just listen). He is different. Well, at least I think so. Naturally, he loves cars and trucks, Lego's, and the other things that boys this age do for fun, but there is something beyond that for Max. He reaches out, and from that he gains satisfaction. He is a person that constantly thinks of others. He helps his little sisters voluntarily. It is rare that I have to fuss at him, and when I do, it is usually just enough to sternly say, "Max!" He loves to cook. He is a protector. He is a bright child with promising academic potential.

Never have I met a child that is sometimes so selfless he could be an example for most adults. I stand in awe. The child offers of himself, his affection, his love--all so unconditionally and gladly. He has a certain intuition like that of a wise old man. He is an old soul, wise beyond his seven little years.

Unfortunately, along with this type of sensitive personality comes hardship, especially for a child in a world like ours. Because he is sensitive and visibly affected by things that happen, he is ridiculed for his feelings, the neighborhood children take joy in making him cry. They bully him and jeer at him, calling him names like 'gay boy' and 'pretty boy' . Yet, he stands strong. At least, for right now. He isn't afraid to be himself, but how long will that last? Will kids like these finally chase the caring nature from my son forever? These are worries that keep me up at night. I vacillate between interfering in these incidents and letting him work it out on his own--not wanting to make it worse. An age-old problem with bullying. But, nowadays, with incidents like Columbine, we see what bullying can cause even the most normal children to do when pushed to the edge.

I want to protect my son. To convince him that the way he is...well it is special, something to treasure and protect, and those children that hurt him, when they grow up will realize this. Or at least they will come to realize what is missing from their own hearts.

But will it be too late for my little boy?

Today, though, is not a day for worries like these. Not today.
Today is a day filled with surprises, happy decorations, excitement...and most of all--CAKE.

Happy Birthday Max.

Mommy loves you beyond measure.

edited to add: The picture above is of Max at the fair this fall, helping out with Serenity while we were waiting on the circus show to begin. For me, she was squirming, screaming, wanting to get down and run. For him, she sat pleasantly as he talked to her and fed her his treats.


blooming desertpea said...

Oh Max, what a wonderful day you have chosen to come to this world. It's the day I have chosen too, 43 years ago. I think I know how it feels to be you, how difficult it is to be sensitive and how hard it is to be called names but most of all - how it feels like to be different.

Happy Birthday Max!

P.S. Strengthen his self-esteem and confidence, Heather, tell him how wonderful it is to be different, to be him ...

painted maypole said...

happiest of birthdays to Max, and may he forever be the caring person he is now.

This made me think of the song When I Was a Boy by Dar Williams, and it ends with a MAN saying to her...
"When I was a girl
my mom and I we always talked
and I picked flowers every where that I walked
and I could always cry
now even when I'm alone I seldom do
and I have lost some kindness... but I was a girl,too..."

I hate that our world thinks of things so strictly as boy and girl traits, and then the meanness of children toward others who don't fit their expectations.

Hold strong, max, hold strong...even as you cry.

Family Adventure said...

Your boy sounds like a wonderful boy. I hope he had the *best* birthday. The picture is lovely.

But...I am shocked that other children would call him names like *those*. I know children can be mean...but where are *those* names coming from?? That is just horrible.

I hope Max is able to rise above the name calling...I hope he has good friends who will stick up for him.

He's what the world *should* be all about.


Amy Y said...

He sure sounds like a special little boy to me!!
My kids are a little more sensitive than the average lil boys too and I worry too about them being bullied (though it hasn't happened yet thank goodness)... I s'pose there will never stop being things to worry about and as long as we teach them to be strong and love themselves, in the long run they will be fine!

Victoria said...

Oh, what a lovely post. My Boy would love to be friends with your Max...they share the same traits (though, thankfully, not bullied. Yet. But I hold my breath. I know it's coming for this sensitive Boy of mine.)

Keep being you, Max. The world needs more Maxes. =)

Emily said...

Oh, I feel your post so deeply. My eldest does not have the same reaching out as Max, but he is already the target of bullies because he is sensitive and small.

Happy birthday, Max.

slouching mom said...

He's so beautiful.

Happy Birthday, Max.

Danielle said...

Happy Birthday Max!!! Seven is a lucky year!
I'm new to your blog and I too live in the Carolinas and am raising 2 kids of my own. You mention in your profile that you recently graduated. I'm curious what you're interested in doing next as I too am at a crossroads education/career-wise. Sounds like we might be kindred spirits in a way...or at least living a parallel life at the moment. (wink) Anyway, nice blog and nice to meet you!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Happy birthday to Max! He is a very special boy, and I, too, hope the meanness of less caring children does not damage him. I don't believe he will ever change, though. He came into this world as the person he is, and he will always bring love and joy to those whose hearts are open enough to receive it.

mitzh said...

Oh he is a beautiful, beautiful boy indeed.

Belated Happy Birthday, Max. May you grow up more beautifully... (((hugs)))

Christine said...

those horrible bullies!

to max: you are so sweet and sensitive and that is a wonderful thing. hold on to that knowledge, your mama is teaching you well.