Sunday, February 8, 2009

Son Two, Child Three

Max, my third child and second son, insisted that I use his real name... because he likes it. We also call him Swell (Max-Swell, get it?). Max is an enigma. I am not even sure how to describe him to you. He has a great, huge brain that collects everything it sees, hears or experiences. When there is something that cannot be recalled, the entire family asks Max... who can always recall the answer.
When he was three and and he and I were laying down for a nap, he was looking around. He turned to me and said "If we walked on the ceiling, how would we be able to reach the door knobs?" I had never noticed that the door knob is farther from the ceiling that it is from the floor. It was a good thinking question, especially for someone only three years old. That is what Max is... a thinker. A voracious reader. A chewer of information and a fun conversationalist for it. I can talk to Max all night if the mood strikes us.
If Max has a flaw, and who does not, it's his impatience with people who do not see things his way. Not that they disagree, but that they don't get what he is saying. He is fine with disagreement. Welcomes it and in fact loves a good debate in a non-angry spirit.

Max is now 21 and discovering the pub life. I have mixed emotions on this subject. I have seen more people lost to alcohol over the years than I have ever seen lost to drugs. Truth. But he is young and in Oregon, the pub life is about all there is to do in the small town we occupy. One has to have friends and friends have to have a place to gather. He has very interesting friends too.

My favorite memory of Max happened when he was about five years old. He was playing with a neighbor kid, who had whacked him on the head with a squirt gun. His sister and the neighbor boys brought him home to me... blood running from his hair, down his neck. I am a believer in the "calm mom" keeps fear at bay. So I acted as if a hole in his head was the most normal thing in the world and took him to the bathroom. Seated upon the counter with me snipping the hair from around the wound, I asked what happened. Max looked at me with his huge brown eyes, expressive as any hound dog's and said... "I've cracked my head open and now I'm going to die."

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