Saturday, November 9, 2013

He's 23

My Max.
Is 23.

First night of Youth. Grad 7. All blinged out. 

I love him.

On the of the benefits of having a blog, is that it's easy to go back and re-live the past.
Below are some favorite memories with Max during his middleschool years:

He's tall and lanky. His growth spurt was impressive last year... the "fat Elvis" stage is a thing of the past. 
At Sun Peaks he landed on his bum and ended up injuring his tailbone. Even though he wears his pants low enough that he wouldn't need to drop them for a doctor, he refused medical attention. Despite the intense pain, he's been going to school as per usual, with a pocket full of Advil for when the discomfort becomes too great. 
I did write him a note, to give to his PE teacher, excusing him from participating in the class activities for a week or so. He went to the arena with his class, but sat in the stands, listening to his MP3 player, while everyone else was on the rink. 
When I picked the guys up afterschool, Max slowly lowered himself into the front seat with a huge grin on his face. 
"How was school?" 
"Fantastic. We had iceskating today." 
"Did you skate?" 
"No. I was a babe magnet instead." 
"I was just sitting there, trying to listen to my music and one of the girls came by to talk to me. Then another one. And 'nother one." 
From the backseat, "It's true Mrs. O. I was playing hockey, and I looked up and there was Max, completed surrounded by all the girls. Never seen anything like it before." 
"Yeah. They, like, flocked around me. Like seagulls. On a fry. AND I WAS THAT FRY!" 

He just got home. He was at WalMart with his friends, the backseat boys. 
He was excited about his evening's gifts, (belated birthday presents) "Look at this great hat." 
It is black leather with ear flaps and a zippered pocket on the front above the rim. It looks particularly striking when accompanied with his other new fashion accessory; the plasticized replica WWE championship wresting belt. In his hand was a new bright orange cap gun. 

He looks like a really really big three year old. 

The Backseat Boys

Another memory from the archives:

17 degrees. SEVENTEEN DEGREES! In February.
I love living here.

I picked the guys up from school with the windows rolled down and the music turned up. It felt like summer.

My backseat boys had slipped the seatbelts off their shoulders and were leaning out their windows, smiling with their mouths wide open, letting the wind blow the hair off their faces. They looked like human-boy-dogs.

Max, in the front seat til we got to the elementary school to pick up Matt and Drew, turned around and noticed what his friends were doing, then stuck his head out of the front passenger window. "Why are your mouths open? he asked.
"Because it dries out your tongue."
"Oh. Hey dude. I've got a whole bunch of spit. Keep your mouth open and I'll spit OK?"

He missed.
But still...

Fade In…
“I love that smell.”
“Yeah. Makes me hungry.”
“For bread.”
“We should get a job there when we grow up.”
We are driving home from school, passing the McGavin’s Bread Factory.
“Dude that would be so awesome.”
“Yeah, we could be the guys that put the little plastic clips on the bags of bread.”
“We could so do that job.”
“I know! We could.”
“Think it would suck after awhile?”
Fade Out

Fade In…
“Had the best dream last night.”
Me too! What was yours?”
“I had a beard.”
“That’s all, I had a beard and I looked good.”
“But what happened?”
“Nothing. I looked in the mirror and saw my face. It had a beard and I looked awesome.”
“That’s lame.”
“No it isn’t. I didn’t want to wake up. I kept thinking, ‘Man I look good with a beard’”
“I had a gun in my dream. I got to shoot it. Now that’s a good dream…”
Fade Out

Fade In…
“Hey, when we get married, we should be stay-at-home dads and race our babies.”
“That’s dumb.”
“No it’s not. Think about it. It’s a perfect plan.”
“ I am not marrying no independent woman! She will listen to me. She will be the one at home with the babies…”
Fade Out

Max and Jon were invited to their first BYOM barBQ. Together they walked to IGA to purchase their meat of choice. Burgers or weinies were not even a considerarion. They came back with smoked turkey legs. Because.

And a more recent memory from Disneyland, Nov 2011:

We finish Big Thunder Railway (no lineup) and Clint, Drew and Danica race over to Space Mountain for another go, when Max comes up beside me and puts his arm around me.
"So mom. Is this weekend turning out like you had hoped?" he asks.
"Yeah. It's good." I reply.
"No. Tell me. Is it as good as you expected?"
"Hmmmm. There've been a few bumps but overall it's been just fine."
"Like what? Tell me...."
"Oh. I dunno. I'll probably process it all with my fingers on a keyboard..."
"You'll have to read her blog," Halee notes.
"She's my mom," Max says. "I shouldn't have to go looking on the internet to see how she's feeling."
Then he looks at me. "Seriously mom. You need to figure out a way to talk about these things. Not wait til you can blog about it."



Where did this boy come from?

"So?" he asks again.
"Well," I start, "I'm glad we're in Disneyland. It's still the best place we could have come this weekend. It's joy-filled and happy and there's lots to do. And it is family oriented. But.... But I wasn't expecting the 'couple culture' here. I was thinking "family group" whereas a lot of the rides are really about being part of a twosome. The new rides are better, but all the old ones? Definitely are designed for two people to cuddle."

"I've been protecting myself for years against situations where I'm going to feel awkward about being single. If I know I'm the only single person, and I know there are going to moments of romance or affection, like say, at a New Year's Eve party? I just don't go. I wasn't expecting my singleness to be an issue here. But it seems to have popped up all day long."

I pause.

"and that's how I feel about this weekend. I'm glad we're here. And surprised that I feel alone. I was not expecting that."

He stopped walking and gave me a hug.

I love being his mom. 

Happy Birthday Max.

I am proud of the man you are.

Love you,

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