Thursday, November 16, 2017

Not just any big brother

Max is going to be fifteen next month. Please don't ask me how that happened, because I am mystified myself. He is seeming particularly mature lately because of his relationship with Ben. 

Yesterday morning, when Ben got up at 5:30 a.m. (his norm, sadly), Max headed downstairs with us, too. Dave usually does the early morning shift but he's been traveling on business and so it was me and the boys. Max had their routine down pat. As I heated up milk for Ben, Max turned the Apple TV on to a YouTube train video. 

"New one!" Ben demanded after a few minutes, and Max obliged. Ben proceeded to say "New one!" approximately every two minutes, and Max did, bringing a whole new meaning to "On demand TV."

Sabrina and Max both dote on Ben, what you'd expect older siblings to do. But at times I get a surge of pride and joy to see Max physically helping Ben out, because it reminds me how far Max has come. He pushes Ben's high chair into the table. He hands him spoons. He bends over to retrieve toys Ben drops and hands them back to him. He giggles when Ben does something naughty, like throw his [fill in the blank] into the kitchen garbage, then opens the can and makes Ben retrieve it. 

Oh, and the kisses: Max is always bending over to smooch the top of Ben's mop-top head. 

In some ways, it doesn't feel all that long ago when I was wondering whether Max would be able to hold spoons, pick up toys or give kisses. Pursing his lips was not an organic part of his movements, mainly because the cerebral palsy made his jaw stiff. Eventually, Max started planting these big, open-mouthed kisses on my cheek, and I'd melt. It was his unique way of kissing, and how he still does it. I still melt. 

Last night, a conversation with Max made me particularly grateful for his progress. As I drove him home from an event at school, Max sitting in the passenger seat, I recounted how Ben had downed spoonfuls of peanut butter for lunch. Suddenly, Ben started repeating the word "butter." Only he kept saying it as if he had a bad French accent: "Buh-ter!" "Buh-ter!" "Buh-ter!" Max cracked up as I said the word, I did too and then we were both howling. 

Right there: SO much awesome. Because I was having a conversation with my boy, something I never dreamed would happen when Max was Ben's age. He was appreciating a speech nuance—also something I could not have imagined when he was little. Max was grown up and mature and fun to talk with, and I was one lucky mom. 

1 comment:

  1. Love this. Ben is so lucky to have Max in his life, and vice versa.


Thanks for sharing!

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