For his birthday last week, my friend Giselle and her son Aiden gave Max a giant book of 500 tattoos. I left the house for no more than thirty minutes this morning, and this is what I came home to--my son the drunken sailor! Obviously, Daddy and Max had some fun while I was out. You can't see it in this photo, but his back is also covered, along with the name "MAX" printed across the knuckles of his right hand. You can tell he is feeling pretty cool in this photo.
When Max was about nine months old, my dad made the very generous offer to pay for me to have my own (real) tattoos removed by a plastic surgeon. His reason, I concluded, had to do with Max and the sort of "example" he felt I was setting for my son. I considered his offer, but not for very long. First of all, it would have been a long, painful, and extremely expensive process--and despite the fact that I have one tattoo in particular that I do NOT love and would like to be rid of--they are part of who I am. And they have absolutely nothing to do with what sort of "example" I set for my son. What is much more important than my ink is that he sees me as kind, compassionate, loving, hardworking, smart, responsible, and decent in every way.
If he eventually gets a tattoo because he admires me for these reasons and wants to be like me, then so be it. And in the meantime, I think he looks pretty cute in his newfound role as "tough guy."
I taught school for many years and watched teenage idiot after blithering teenage idiot get pregnant by just THINKING about sex. All the while, I, a happily married and productive member of society, underwent multiple fertility treatments to no avail.
Max turned three years old yesterday; and despite the fact that we've been celebrating for two full weeks, I can hardly believe it! He is such a big boy all of a sudden!
We had a party for family and very close friends two weekends before his birthday, since it was the only time several special people could attend. We then had another (wonderful but wild) party yesterday for the kids in his playgroup, and almost twenty little children showed up. For both parties, we had an inflatable bouncer/waterslide in the backyard (thanks to my awesome friend Michele), and lots of delicious food.
Every time Max has a birthday, it is also a special time for me to remember what was one of the happiest days of my life. Labor and my ultimate emergency C-section were nightmarish, but every bit of pain was completely erased the minute he entered this world. It sounds hokey, but it really was love at first sight; and I would have gone through every bit of it again at that very moment without a second thought.
Here are a couple of my favorite pictures of him from those first few days. I know every mother says it, but he REALLY WAS absolutely beautiful from the very start:
And, of course, he's still beautiful. But the most important thing is that he's healthy, happy, and decent--and hilarious! He makes us smile and laugh out loud numerous times every day. Here are some highlights of his big day, including the famous Spiderman 3 cake:
Blowing out the candles:
And enjoying it with some ice cream...life is so hard, isn't it?
I'm wife to Billy (the world's best husband) and mom to Max (the world's coolest kid) and a grad student in Curriculum and Instruction at UHCL. We are currently expecting baby boy #2 in December 2008 (the result of IVF #2), so I'll keep you updated. I was a high school English teacher for nine years, I'm a SAHM right now, and I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up.