Thursday, April 21, 2016

There are worse things to be called than cute

"You're cute!" the guy said to Max. Yesterday afternoon, I had a handyman at our house checking out some work on the deck that needed to get done, and Max had just informed him that his name was "Fireman Max."


Well, yes, Max is cute. At 13 years old, he seems younger than his age, a running theme of his life. When he was a little kid, I felt glad for this. If people thought he was younger than he actually was, I reasoned, then they wouldn't be wondering why he wasn't yet walking or talking. Children wouldn't make fun of him.

As Max got older, his disabilities became more apparent. Children stared. Adults did, too. Still, he was cute. Not just in looks, but in his sunny disposition, too. I think that cuteness of his has helped break down the discomfort and awkwardness that some people feel around children with special needs.

But now, he's a teen who's cute in part because he has mannerisms that are younger than his years, like wearing a fire truck hat and telling people that his name is Fireman Max. He's also on the shorter side, which also contributes to his youthful appearance, along with the nighttime anti-wrinkle cream he uses. (Kid-ding.)

This is all to say that I've been wondering if it's still cool for people to refer to him as cute (as in, people who are not girls his age). Maybe I'm being overly sensitive because even if Max doesn't do things that other kids his age do, he has plenty of abilities and I want others to see that. People who know Max are aware of just how far he has come and how much he has matured; I hope that others who meet him see a young man who happens to have some childish habits. As always, I ache for people to see beyond the disabilities.

I mean, Max will always be cute to me because he'll always be my baby; same goes for Sabrina and Ben. And there are worse names to be called. Now that I am middle-aged, and still getting told on occasion that I'm cute, I have decided that it sure beats "You old hag."

Really, though, there is only one person whose opinion on this counts. 

"Max, are you cute?" I asked him as we stood on the deck.

"No!" he said. "Handsome!"

The guy didn't understand that Max had said "handsome" so I translated, and he laughed.

"Yes, handsome! You're very handsome," he agreed.

Max grinned. He looked both handsome and cute, but I wasn't going to mention it.


  1. As a teen interested in the kawaii aesthetic, cute is the best thing someone can call me.

    1. Anna....
      "As a teen interested in the kawaii aesthetic, cute is the best thing someone can call me." Alright, then I will write/say that. You are cute, Friend!! I do mean that.... In a good way, in the best way possible!! ;)
      "Stay hard, stay hungry, stay alive", Raelyn
      PS. You just got me to Google-search the kawaii aesthetic.... ;-D


  2. Ellen....
    Sorry, I'd read/comment on this Blog post, but I do not have time today!! ;)
    "Stay hard, stay hungry, stay alive", Raelyn

  3. I understand that it's important for both of you that people see Max, and not just Max's cp - but to me l wouldn't worry about that here. I know thirteen year old kids who are cute - to most people, they're very young and it doesn't seem inappropriate. It may very well be completely unrelated to his disability and just to do with the fact that he is indeed cute!
    I think it's normal for somebody to call a lovely if young-looking 13 year old cute, disability or no disability; and, importantly, I think it's normal for Max to have corrected them with 'handsome'!!

  4. I'm short for my age (4,11 and 15) and I'm the oldest out of my friends!

  5. Fireman Max, You are very handsome. I'm 18, look like 14 and still get called cute! I prefer pretty although some of my friends will use cute in that way and that's fine as it's not patronizing. On the other hand, I wish guys would call me cute lol.

  6. Max is all kinds of handsome... But he's also cute, and being both is not just okay, it's pretty awesome. Lots of ladies like a guy who keeps that sweet boyish cuteness! ;)


Thanks for sharing!

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