The other day our family was leaving a holiday work party when Max asked for a drink of water in the car. I fumbled around at my feet in the passenger seat of the car, feeling for a stray water bottle I try to keep near for moments like this. All I could find was one HUGE apple juice container that we had filled with water on a recent hike.
"Here give him this," Kyle says as he hands me a small water bottle he had grabbed from the party.
The only problem was this wasn't regular water, it was with a "splash of lemon." Basically this water tasted like really weak, artificially sweetened lemonade.
"He isn't going to like this..." I warned.
"He won't even notice, in fact I bet he will like it," Kyle countered back.
I reached my arm back to Max and Max willingly grabbed at the water, took one drink, and sincerely shrieked,
"What IS this?!?!?!"
It was hilarious.
That is what Max is these days. A mix of hilarity and curiosity that keeps me on the edge of my seat, waiting for the next thing he will say. Sometimes when he talks to me I get sidetracked thinking...but you were inside me once, just a tiny little thing, and then you depended on me for everything and here you are chatting it up about pajamas and candy and letters.
"Mom, what letter starts with wall and firetruck and parking garage?" At bedtime we have switched from me singing a requested song to snuggles where we talk letters and a lot of other random things like friends and choices made that day and the way things work. I can see his brain trying to figure this world out and it is FASCINATING.
"Hey Mom? Can I watch Human?" He requests.
"Human?" I query back, not sure of what he is referring to.
"That show where the human leaves the north pole and throws snowballs...." He goes on trying to explain what he means. Logically, Elf should be called Human if you really think about it...
Max is my strong-willed boy. He makes big expressions and uses his whole body to talk and explain. He is a master at playing pretend, especially when it involves fighting bad dragons. Playing with Dad is the clear highlight of his day and he continues to be the best helper with Daniel. He has nothing but love to give his brother.
"MOM!!!!!!" He comes running into the bathroom as I am finishing getting ready for church.
"What is it love?" As he rushes in, tears are streaming down his face. He was watching the start of Prince of Egypt and Moses' mother had just put him in a basket into the river and watched it float away...
"The mommy needs her baby!" He continues to cry, "She needs her baby back."
What do you say to that? Especially after all we have been through, this small scene became so very real for him. He doesn't understand much in regards to James but I think he understood what it would mean to lose Daniel and it terrified him. My heart softened in that moment, oftentimes it is hard to see beyond my own grief and emotions. But in that moment I was reminded of my beautiful firstborn, a boy who continually surprises me with his depth of character at the age of three.
He is never not fascinating.
(As before, all of these beautiful photos were taken by the VERY talented Hannah D Photography.)