Four years ago yesterday I was blessed with a little boy. Max is not my child, but was born prematurely to my best friend, my honorary sister. He emerged early, frightening us all and spurring friends and family to action. Although his mother and I had been good friends for several years, his birth allowed me the perfect opening to help. I do helping. I love helping. I love to cook for others, pitch in to straighten up and make life easier.
"No, you rest. Take care of yourself. I'll find my way around the kitchen/laundry room/bathroom."
Max was born little and powerful. He had the longest, most beautiful feet of anyone I've ever seen. This child will never falter.
I have spent some of the happiest moments of my life on the floor building Lincoln Log cabins and Lego structures with this magical little boy. When he is near me I have to sit on my hands to keep them from scooping him up and tickling him. His laughter is explosive, erupting from the soles of his very large feet and bubbling up to the surface. It is one of my favorite sounds.
Max loves everything. He is polite and silly, always on the hunt for chocolate, and when he finds some, always shares it with me. I love the way his bare feet slap on the wood floor as he chases after the big girls, eager to join their game. Seeing him come around the corner, pirate hat and inflatable sword in place, jumping out to scare me but not being able to keep a straight face, delights me every time. This will never get old.
Friday afternoon my phone rang. It was Max, calling to tell me that it was only "one more sleep" until his birthday. My heart sang. We chatted about cupcakes and birthday songs and special breakfasts. Although it was his birthday, I am the one who has been given a gift. Thank you, special boy, for sharing your life with me!