The Spotlight

May 14, 2010


November 14, 2009

Sam, this is a rough stage for Max. He’s 6-almost-7, and I imagine his insecurities are only amplified by being a middle child.  He wants to be in the spotlight, but clams up when it is on him.  In fact, have you noticed, when we all focus on him, he directs it right back to you?  And when no one is paying attention to him, he makes sure they do… by directing us to you.  Look at my baby brother, he shouts.  He walks down the street announcing to the world that you are here.  And he wants everybody to know his baby brother can walk and says “hot” and “hat” and “catch” and “cat.” 

He loves you to bits, ever since he knew you were on your way.  When I was pregnant with you, I would lay down with Max at bedtime, and he would scuttle right up to me, his back to my belly, and wait for your kicks.  They always started then — your kicks — right when his back would get close to me, close to you.

Last night, at Matthew’s performance, you sat on the multipurpose room floor with me and Max, screeching for Matthew. You wanted Matthew to come to you, and you were so mad that I wouldn’t let you go to him.  Matthew was up there, violin in hand, watching you.  He will come when he can, I told you. 

Max was trying to entertain you, and you know what you did?  You tackled him.  Knocked him right down to the ground.  Then you slapped his chest. Slap, slap, slap.  You smiling all the while, and Max laughing with tears in his eyes, loving your antics.  All of Max’s friends laughed and laughed. You did it again later, too, after Matthew had sat with you and then went back to the stage.

I know, I know — Max has some wild energy.  Exuberance, some call it.  I understand (completely) that it’s easier to tackle him than to cuddle up with him.

But I have to tell you this now, because I don’t think it will be like this for much longer. He won’t always be so here in your face, loud and attentive, desperate for you to smile, giggle, wrap your arms around him.  I need to tell you this now so you know that his love for you is deep deep deep, even when he’s running off with his friends, seemingly away from you.


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