Susan's Blog

Friday, March 9, 2007

My Sonshine

You are my sunshine
My big boy sunshine
You make me happy
all night and day
–My adaptation of the song; sang it to my sons for as many years as they would allow.

Today is Maximillian Zachary Batchelder’s 15th birthday. A big name for a big person. He was my biggest baby of the three, weighing in at 8 pounds, 9 ounces. The first moment I looked at him, I laughed. He had a little sharp nose and high cheekbones that reminded me of my mom’s, and he was all at once familiar and a stranger. “Who is this?” I remember asking him.

I wanted to get to know this new/old person right away. He made it easy. He ate and ate, and he settled into a napping routine that fit with his big brother Nat’s pretty quickly. He never had that feeble newborn air. His eyes popped open by the time we were home with him. At six weeks old he had so much head and neck strength that I could just prop him a little on chair and use the backpack instead of the snugli (the precursor to the Baby Bjorn carrier). He was smiling as soon as his infant face would allow it, and that is how I will always think of him: with a beautiful smile, lit up by an inner contentment that I envy. He might have my family’s gorgeous cheekbones but he has Ned’s golden serenity (and hair).

He also has Ned’s mathematical mind, but also my artistic leanings. He has always been a sculptor, constructing amazing things from what you might consider garbage or just part of the scenery (his room is a collection of cast-off mechanical stuff as well as folded business card structures.) When he was four, we had Laura’s baby shower. She unwrapped a gift that had to be assembled; a lot of parts. Little Max looked down at the box of parts and at the picture of the finished item and said, “It’s missing a part.” We smiled skeptically and then tried to assemble it — he was right.

I used to worry about him when he was younger, growing up in the sometimes confusing shadows his brother’s erratic behavior or my anxiety and depression cast his way. By the time he was eleven, however, I could see that he knew what he was about in a way that I still did not, at 40. He started to find a major part of himself at that point, with computer programming and playing the game Uru Live. He refused to go along with any of the prefabricated cliques in his middle school, and now at the high school, instead forging out on his own to be a kind of socially skilled nerd. A geek with a lot of girlfriends (over the years; currently just one).

At 6’2″, Max is the biggest in the family. He is softspoken, and I have never seen him become aggressive. Only once, when he was a toddler, he hit Nat in the head with a little wooden hammer (from the toy “Tap-A-Chap,” which he called, “Bap-Bap-Bap”), and it was done playfully, not angrily. He teases Benj mercilessly, but also knows when to stop.

For his fifteenth birthday, I wish for him all the good things this life can bring you, and the ability to continue to handle the rest.

Tabblo: Random Max

Is this the little boy I carried?
Is this the little boy at play?
I don’t remember growing older…

See my Tabblo>


Well Happy Belated Birthday to Max. I sing that song to my boys except Patrick insists that skies are blue instead of grey EVERY TIME.

— added by mumkeepingsane on Friday, March 9, 2007 at 10:19 am

Happy Birthday Max! You have a wonderful family, I hope you know how blessed you are. You have an incredible mother and father, and two awesome brothers!

— added by Anonymous on Friday, March 9, 2007 at 10:28 am

I just love your writing and your introspective view of your life. It helps me examine my own more closely – thank you!

Happy Birthday to Max – what lucky children to have you as their mother. You know them so very well.

— added by Anonymous on Friday, March 9, 2007 at 12:47 pm

Isn’t it amazing how time just flies by?? Someone once said that for parents, the days are long but the years pass quickly and that really is true. I hope you’ll post some photos of the cake; your cakes are always so creative!


— added by Sam's mom on Friday, March 9, 2007 at 4:39 pm

Happy Birthday Max!! 🙂 I hum/sing that song to my son when he’s upset or when he needs help going to sleep.

— added by ASDmomNC on Friday, March 9, 2007 at 11:14 pm

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