Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Max Turns 2, and It's Mostly About Me

Dear Maxi,

Last year, when you turned one, I was still marveling at how you came into this world; I was reliving the memory of that night when everything changed.

I've had time these past 12 months to let that night settle into my memory, into a place where I can recall it, enjoy it, and then lay it back to rest. This is important to me, because I have a history of getting so stuck in the past that I can't see or move beyond it. And considering that your daddy and I want to, maybe in the next year, try to bring another baby into our family, it's important that I keep that night in proper perspective, or else it might negatively affect my second pregnancy and labor.

But I digress - and you will see plainly over the years that I digress an awful lot.

Max, your turning two is bittersweet for me. This last year has been full of moments where you have astounded me; where I have felt so incredibly proud of you each and every time you mastered a new skill or spoke a new word; where I have felt so frustrated by your stubbornness and the way you ignore me and keep doing whatever it is I'm asking you not to do; where I have held you tightly and felt your chubby arms around my neck as you sighed in sheer contentment.

This last year you have shown us - in no uncertain terms - who you are: a ham, a drama queen, willful and temperamental and exhausting. And smart. So very smart that it freaks me out. It could very well be that you're like every other kid out there, but I just can't buy that. I see you and the way you observe people and things, the way you remember words you are told and games you are taught; I see you connect the dots and come back at us with your understanding of these things. And I see a little boy who is bright and funny and who loves to laugh and be the center of attention. I see a lot of me in you, and that is both wonderful and awful.

At the same time, though, you turn two at a time when I am so mired in a problem that I have practically lost my common sense. I have lived with this ridiculous thing hanging over me for so long now that it is affecting everything: my general disposition, my sense of humor and my ability to keep things in perspective. You'll learn one day that there are times when a seemingly small, unfortunate thing can morph into an obsession that consumes you. I am a point where I honestly fear that once this problem ceases to be one, once I can breathe easy again and not be such a crank, I won't be able to get back to normal, nor will I know how to.

Of course, this is where I turn to you, to your sunshine and innocence. Because the truth is, Maxi, it is you and your sunny, happy nature that has effected whatever positive changes I've made in the last two years. It is for you that I constantly fight my own darkness. If for nothing else, I do it just because I know you need and deserve a mom who won't fuck you up too badly; I understand that my issues are mine alone, and that it's my responsibility to you to not let them damage you.

It's important that I say this to you because the possibility that I do the exact opposite is always there. I have felt, I feel, I probably will always feel, always on the brink of veering off the "good" path and into my own abyss of despair.

But um, how about I save that for another day and not ruin your commemorative second birthday letter?

Max, you have brought us so much happiness that it's almost criminal. Your greatest gift is your ability to make people laugh. Maybe it's impossible to not laugh at the antics of a two-year-old, but my son, you've got this thing about you - maybe it's a combination of your quirky little face and mannerisms and maddening energy and skills at mimicry - that leaves everyone you encounter laughing.

And so today, my greatest wish for you is that you will forever make people laugh. And that as you grow and understand the value of such a gift, that you also grow in compassion and kindness. When I think of how I will measure how "good" a mother I have been, it will be in how kind and compassionate a man you are. No pressure for either one of us, right?

Happy birthday, monkey. Thank you for coming into my life and making it infinitely better than I ever imagined it could be.

Now, if only you would let me get some sleep... we'd be golden, my boy. Golden. Hhmm... maybe next year...

Te quiero,

Mami


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Posted by Tere @ 9/11/2007   | |

13 Comments

  • Blogger B posted at 9/11/2007 1:59 PM  
    That was awesome baby. Happy birthday my little monkey.
  • Blogger AmandaDufau posted at 9/11/2007 2:34 PM  
    Happy Birthday Max!!
  • Blogger Jeff Ronci posted at 9/11/2007 4:25 PM  
    Enjoy your day, baby Max!
  • Anonymous Miss posted at 9/11/2007 7:15 PM  
    Great birthday post. happy birthday Max!!
  • Blogger Julie Pippert posted at 9/11/2007 7:45 PM  
    Happy Second Birthday to Max!

    (And great letter!)

    Julie
    Using My Words
  • Blogger InTheFastLane posted at 9/11/2007 7:47 PM  
    Happy Birthday Max!
  • Blogger Balou posted at 9/11/2007 9:27 PM  
    Happy Birthday, Monkey!!
  • Blogger Claudia posted at 9/12/2007 4:33 PM  
    Happy Belated Birthday Max!
  • Blogger The Florida Masochist posted at 9/12/2007 4:51 PM  
    Belated happy birthday Max and congrats to you Tere. Now welcome to the terrible twos. :)
  • Blogger slouching mom posted at 9/12/2007 5:06 PM  
    Lovely post, and happy two, Maz!
  • Blogger slouching mom posted at 9/12/2007 5:06 PM  
    oops, not Maz, Max!
  • Blogger Julie posted at 9/12/2007 7:32 PM  
    Happy Birthday, Max! I know you'll turn into the compassionate, kind adult your mami hopes you will be, and it will be because she raised you with such love.

    P.S. I call my son Evan "monkey," too.
  • Blogger Suz posted at 9/12/2007 7:35 PM  
    happy belated birthday max!!!!
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