"Max is the mayor of the ship," Dave reported to me. He and Max are on their third day of a Carnival Cruise, headed to Ensenada, Mexico.
Max has winter break this week, Sabrina and Ben don't. Dave had some work to do in Los Angeles, where Max dreams of moving. Dave had air miles. Five-day Carnival cruises departing from L.A. are a very good deal. Max loves California. Max loves cruises. And so, a plan was born.
I had coronavirus paranoia, given how quickly anything can spread on a cruise ship (and as the Diamond Princess ship saga has confirmed). Dave got notice that the ship was checking passports to make sure nobody was coming onboard who'd traveled in China. That wasn't totally reassuring, but he felt OK about the trip so I repressed my paranoia. Kinda. [Excuse me while I google cruise ships and coronavirus for the bazillionth time.]
Max has been on a bunch of cruises and from the minute he got onboard, he knew just what to do. He and Dave immediately had a steak lunch at a restaurant. He danced at the sail-off party. He hit the teen club. He made himself pancakes and an omelet at the buffet. They visited Catalina Island and rented a golf cart, Max's favorite mode of transportation.
Dave told me yesterday that when he and Max were walking around the ship, crew members were saying hello to him left and right. This always happens when we go on cruises, and it reminds me what an asset Max's charisma is. Same goes for school visits. Dave has also called Max "The mayor of the school" because whenever Dave has visited, he's noticed that everyone who passes by says hello to Max.
I'm well aware of Max's charms, but seeing just how much people connect with him helps soothe that ever-present worry bubbling in the back of my brain: How will he function as an adult? What kind of work will he do? His good cheer will serve him well, no matter what. Actually, he'd be great on a cruise's social team. Or who knows, maybe years from now he'll be another old dude who lives on a cruise.
Max has been texting me that he wants to go on another cruise next February. He says he wants to show me, Ben and Sabrina the cruise. Isn't he nice?