Some things I love about Max:
- His enthusiastic pantomimes expressing how delicious the food on his plate looks when he knows I’m stressing about his eating and he just wants me to feel better.
- His love of going out to restaurants and cafes. He’s a routine guy like Philip and I are. But he goes on these jags where he wants to try a new place and there are two criteria for whether or not a place succeeds or fails. 1) The presence (or absence) of Grape Italian soda on the menu 2) How good are the fries?
- He’s a connoisseur of root beer.
- That he loves fancy glassware with an emphasis on stemware. He’s been wanting a martini glass because he thinks they’re cool. I got him one. Now he drinks his soda in his martini glass.
- He thinks I’m pretty and not fat.
- He thinks of The Walking Dead as “our thing”. (He lets his dad watch with us out of kindness – but since we watched the whole first season just the two of us during our last week in Oregon when it was just him and me – he thinks it’s our special thing.)
- He wants to be a consultant for the zombie apocalypse section of the Post Apocalyptic Kitchen project I’m working on with my friend Emma.
- That he said this after our horrible doctor’s appointment last week “I’m a picky eater. I’m not proud of it, it’s just a fact.”
- He’s an avid reader. He mostly reads humorous nonfiction (The Zombie Survival Guide, for example) and graphic novels like Bone and Usagi Yojimbo. I don’t care what he reads as long as it isn’t porn. He loves reading and it makes me really happy.
- How he gets in a mood to hang out alone with Grandma or with me or with his dad. How he likes to have alone time with the individuals he loves.
- His parting comment the other morning on his way to school “You wanna know what would be really gross?” (me “always!”) “Vaseline toast”
- His strong sense of self. No one tells Max who he is, he tells them.
- That he engages his Xbox online friends in debates about abortion, religion, politics, and the questionable (to him) ethics of eating meat.
- That he thinks animals are equal to humans in worth and deserve to be treated that way. (Yes, I think my influence can be spotted here)
- That when he builds women characters in his video games he makes them regular sized people with pretty much regular sized boobs.* (In character creation you can make bodies super skinny or fat and you can make boobs any size you want too.)
- That he had the guts to tell the girl he liked last year that he liked her.
- His curiosity. He wants to dig under the surface of things. His questions are interesting and make me want to be able to answer them. This morning’s question is “Why does stevia have an after taste but regular sugar doesn’t?” (He’s eating a new protein bar that is partly sweetened with stevia to keep the sugar content down. He likes the bar but has to drink something afterwards to wash the after taste out.) I happened to have a jar of stevia that we grew and dried and my mom crushed into semi-powder. We smelled it and noticed it leaves a sweet taste in your mouth when you breath it in. Max had theories.
- Max always has theories.
No matter what challenges he faces (and us with him) he’s an awesome kid and I love him.
*There is nothing wrong with big boobs but it’s such a stereotype that the women characters in video games have enormous breasts. It just pleases me that Max is going against the stereotype. You can also clothe them in next to nothing if you want, he also doesn’t do this.