My son Max is now six years old. Six trips around the sun. Six birthdays. Six years of amazement, silliness, and sweetness.
The only brother, surrounded on all sides by sisters, Max is shy, quiet, and curious about the world around him. I hope you’ll allow this mother to gush as bit, because I have a few things I want to share about my Max.
Max is our miracle boy, the pregnancy we spent three difficult years hoping for, the news that we were having a son coming not many weeks before my father-in-law, John, passed away from lung cancer in 2005.
If I close my eyes, I can still see the look on John’s face when we told him he was going to have a grandson. Christopher and I were visiting him in the hospital. The cancer had spread to John’s brain and then to his blood. He had deteriorated to the point where he could no longer speak to us. But, when Chris told his Dad that our baby was a boy, their eyes locked and John’s face lit up and joy filled the room. A son!
The baby boy growing inside of me was often the only joy we could find during that difficult time, all of us otherwise numb and very much just going through the motions of each day.
That pregnancy passed in a blur.
And, yet, at the end of it, here was this bright light shining for us. This little fellow (well, perhaps not so little at 9lb 15oz) with deep blue eyes, jet black hair, and a very old soul, was waiting to meet us: our Max.
Max is my shy child, but the one who will surprise you by breaking out into song at the dinner table or bursting into dance in the aisles at the grocery store. He gets so happy he just can’t contain it!
Max moves at a different speed from the rest of us. Max is the one who will see the butterfly first or spy the smoothest stone or the fluffiest cloud because he is always looking, observing, seeking.
Max does something positively silly and amazing daily. Chris and I often remark how much his grandfather would have enjoyed this little boy.
For myself, I had spent close to three years trying to get pregnant, wondering what was wrong with my body that it wouldn’t welcome a baby. I woke up each day thankful to still be pregnant.
To me, Max is our miracle.
Max is the ray of sunshine on the cloudy day. The dove who gives me hope that there is solid ground ahead. Dry land. Promises kept. Gifts we don’t deserve. Fresh starts.
And a reminder to shine some light and make a joyful noise every single day. Not just on the easy days. Not just on the happy days.
For the birthday boy
The thing about Max and birthdays is that he doesn’t ask for much. For almost five years now, his two favorite toys have been “Red Mouse and Green Guy” (pilfered from a Mouse Trap game) that he carries with him everywhere.
Max is growing up a fairly content little boy and, as I mentioned, he’s also on the shy side. His dad and I know that if Max approaches you and asks for something, it means he really, really must want it.
While this is wonderful from a parenting standpoint, when it comes to gift giving it does make it a little bit more of a challenge to give presents to a child who doesn’t have a ready list of items he wants (as his sisters do, ahem.)
Want, need, wear, read
Gift giving for a six year old boy:
- Want: he asked for a “HUGE puzzle of the earth” (we chose the Our World Floor Puzzle from Mudpuppy)
- Need: new sneakers (a gift from his grandparents, who found them in orange, Max’s favorite color)
- Wear: gently used box of Summer clothes and swimsuits (purchased from a favorite eBay seller)
- Read: Calvin and Hobbes comic book (it seemed perfect for a six year old boy and I’ve enjoyed watching he and his older sister Jillian read it together)
Happy Birthday, Max! We love you!
What are your favorite gifts to give to a six year old?