In January, 2000, I was driving home from daily Mass with my 6, 5 and 10 month old baby. I felt a very familiar, yet unique, feeling come over me. I pulled over, threw up all over the side of the road, looked up and said, "Oh no. Not this. Please God. My baby is only 10 months old!" I turned my van around and bought an overpriced pregnancy test at the local drug store. Yep. Max was on his way. He had been on his way for several weeks already. It is difficult to explain the mixed emotions that can go on simultaneously with a "surprise" baby ....scared, joy, worry, ecstatic, nervous, giddy. Only a woman can understand. Well, a menstruating woman, anyway.
On September 21st, 2000, on his exact due date, he arrived! He was a spittin' image of his blond headed, blue eyed sister. Max loves it when I tell the story of his hospital stay. He was a screamer. I don't know if there was another mother who tried to return their baby as hard as I did. I pressed that red button over and over to get the nurses to take him away. Minutes later, a sweaty and disgruntled nurse would wheel my screaming baby back into the room. There was nothing I could do! I had to leave the hospital with this baby! Max did not have colic. He simply had the temperament of a child that screamed when he did not get exactly what he wanted. While Nick would hit, slap and beat up anyone to get what he wanted (he wouldn't hurt a fly now), Max just screamed for it. I'm not sure which is better. I was blessed with a boy that was given both of these character traits in Ben....groan....but God has blessed me abundantly with my wonderful mellow Matthew. I still can not believe that all of these kids came out of the same womb. Will I ever have two kids that are anything alike? Ever? It is humbling to say the least. Do you want to know my parenting tip on anything?? I will give you 8 different answers!
God has a plan for all of these different personalities. I have watched my little Max grow into a fine, generous, happy and sensitive boy. All of his screaming he did as a baby was just the signs of a boy who would be a sensitive soul. He looks around for ways to care about people. He is the one who prowls the van for food whenever we see a homeless person on the side of the road. He is the one who made sandwiches and water and had me drive around town to look for them. Max looks out the window quietly for a while, trying to come up with ways to help the weak and the helpless and then shares all of his idea's with me. After Max won first place in the Pinewood Derby, he said, "Winning once is enough. I don't want to win anymore. I like to see how happy other people are when they win." Oh, to be the mother of Max Christy! What did I ever do to deserve such a gift in him?
Just when you think there could not be a better gift in such a young man, there is more! Max is the one who makes the whole world laugh, including himself. When Max laughs, he laughs with his whole body. Every molecule of his being is laughing and wriggling about too. This house would be bare and empty and quiet if he were not here. He is what keeps this family hoppin' and happy.
I don't have any concrete, scientific proof but I am quite sure that God has a very special and unique plan for all His "surprise" babies. I can not wait to see God's plan for Max's life unfold year by year. This has been and will continue to be very exciting!!
Thank you God for my screaming baby.
Happy Birthday Max.