Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Still Fits

My Poet, 14 yrs old today

You, my special boy, are 14 years old today.

How this happened? Anybody? Drop me a line, because I turned away for a second, and there it was.

You are the one I can write the most about and you are the one that leaves me with my pen poised in the air over my paper, unable to find the words that fit. You did this to me when you were just ten days old, when you reached for my face with your little hand, when you heard my voice. You left me astounded, speechless, then, and you still do now.

When you were almost 2 years old, you brought me a picture of a tiger you had drawn, complete with black stripes and green eyes, swishy tail with the hair tuft detailed at the end. I didn't even know you could hold a crayon yet. Your drawings still leave me shaking my head, in disbelief.

When you were almost 2 years old, you spelled your name out with the wooden alphabet train letters we had. Not a single letter was missed. I have the picture. I knew no one would believe me. People still don't.

When you were almost 2 years old, you scared my oldest sister by naming all the planets in the solar system, while you climbed on the swings at the park. She asked me that afternoon in the summer, "aren't you scared he can do all that?"  She still doesn't get you, and I catch her watching you with curiousity.

You've never scared me.

You've always amazed me. A-mazed.

You are the least like the me I am now, and the most like the me I would have been, if people had let me.

Your needs are clear, direct, and never require guessing.

Your feelings are public, where mine have been tamed into society accepting quiet.

You know what you need. The way you have been able to organize all your passions, kept in order in your room, the need to rush upstairs for quiet after you return from a fully scheduled day, your dislike for being hurried. I see you, and I remember all these same feelings.

I understand it all. I did when you were small, and I still do now.

You are direct with your communication, there is no gray.

Which is why this picture, this picture, is one I can't tear my gaze away from today.

What is it that you really think? What do you see? Does something make you wonder?

For your birthday today, I've tried to complete the list you carefully and deliberately detailed for me, about the things you want.

Do you think you could, today, as a small token of affection for me, provide me with the same careful, deliberate details, about you?


Happy, wonderful, birthday, to my sweet, sweet poet Maximus. 

I love you.

I hope you have an amazing birthday day, and receive everything you wished for. 

Love, forever, mama 

*I decided to call this post "Still Fits," since a poem I wrote for Maximus, when he was 4 yrs old, still fits him to this day. 


  1. He's the most like the person you would have been if people had let you?


    I so get that.

    That's why I try so very hard to let my daughters be who they are. Why I am so fiercely protective of their independence. I don't want anything to stand in the way of who they are meant to be.

    I love that you know who he is.

    And that he still has secrets from you.

    That is as it should be.

    You are both amazing.

  2. Beautiful. Simply, amazingly beautiful.

    Happy birthday to your poet, as well as happy birthing day to you, mama...

  3. Kris got to the line that jumped right out at me as if triple highlighted first.

    But yes, yes, yes. Happy birthday to your poet son.

  4. I am all broken down in tears over here. I love that you get him. I hate that we blink and they are fourteen. Where did the time go?

    Happy Birthday, Maximus!

  5. Absolutely beautiful and he does have haunting eyes doesn't he.. Beautiful young man you have there hun

  6. You have left me in tears.
    Big, sloppy, messy tears.

    I look at my 13-month old son and I know that these years ahead will slip though my fingers. I know that I will look back and wish I could have found a way to slow time.

    But I can't. I know that.
    I can, however, savor each and every moment I have with him while he here with me.

    I hope that I can always allow him the space to be who he is and that I truly know him, as you know Maximus You are an inspiration.

    Thank you for this beautiful piece.

    Happy Birthday, Maximus.

  7. Just today, going to the large pediatrician practice with my son and getting the same doctor we had when he was a week old and we made our first visit there made me flash on how fast 8 years can just blink by.

    I can barely imagine 14. Wow.

    Happy Birthday to your beautiful, amazing son. And happy becoming-a-mother day to you, dear Empress!

  8. happy birthday maximus! i am sure he will cherish your words for him today...

  9. Happy Birthday, kid.

    FYI, your mom is pretty hot.

  10. Beautiful. Happy Birthday Maximus. If I were your mom, I'd be so stinkin proud.

  11. Happy Birthday to Maximus! Beautiful post. Your feelings are so very clear for this Awesome boy : )

  12. Awww, happy birthday! A lovely post.

  13. Happy birthday to your poet son.

    That photo describes perfectly what you write.

    It is a lovely tribute to him.

    I hope you both get what you want for his birthday :)

  14. What a lovely tribute to your son. He'll treasure it in the years to come. Happy birthday to him.

  15. Happy birthday to your gentle poet. You are a great momma, Empress. *HUGS*

  16. Happy birthday to your boy!

    He's so lucky to have a mom like you who has LET him be him and not tried to force him into some sort of mold.

  17. Cece says:

    He never scared me. I always thought he was awesome. Silly woman.

  18. Oh, Alexandra, that's lovely. Happy happy birthday to your wonderful boy!

  19. With every exquisite, heartfelt post about your beloved little men, my concern over the future generation eases just a wee bit. I'll go ahead and speak for the world, thanks dear Empress for getting it so right. He might have been born with incredible gifts, but it is your love and careful tending that makes him the incredible soul he is.

    Happiest of birthdays Maximus!

  20. Beautiful. I can't even imagine, with mine 5 and 3 - I'm sure you just looked away for a second when yours were this age, and turned around and found yourself with this lovely 14 yr old.

  21. OMgosh, lovely lovely.

    And yes, in a minute they are grown. Everybody warned me.

  22. Happy Birthday, Maximus. And a wonderful post, me lady. Oh…and that is a cute butt behind your head, Maximus.

  23. Your post/letters to your kids are always terrific. Really.

  24. What is better than a kind, gentle, poetic son? Perhaps a momma who lets him be that way. Lucky him. Lucky you.

  25. Letting your kids become the person you never had the chance to be is the most beautiful thing in the world. I can only hope, if I ever have children, that I could do the same. Maximus is A-mazing... just like his mom. xoox

  26. That made me ache a little - I know that, even though mine are just 7 and 3, that 14 is a blink away. A lovely tribute!

  27. Happy Birthday to Maximus.

    I'm constantly amazed at how quickly mine grow... in age, in stature, in talent, and in maturity...

  28. Kris pretty much nailed what I was thinking...only better than I would've said it.

    Truly lovely post. :)

  29. "You are the least like the me I am now, and the most like the me I would have been, if people had let me."

    This is so beautiful. This whole post is just beautiful, the way you can find all the right words and combine them in a way that just shoots straight at the heart. How do you do it Alexandra?!?!

    I feel like I get Maximus too, and how extraordinarily bright and wise he is. But not many people in society get bright, intense little boys like that. He is so lucky to have a mama who really tries to see him for what he is. We'd all be such better people if we all had parents who could do the same.

    Just love it! And a wonderful birthday to your darling!

  30. This is a wonderful tribute to your son. It is a magical feeling to have a child whom you know through and through.

    Happy birthday, Maximus!

  31. He's a genius! And Maximus is the perfect name for a genius!

    Happy Birthday!

  32. I'm new to your blog, but glad I came here today. Maximus looks like a young Bob Dylan, yet with the eyes of an old soul. Yes, he definitely knows what he wants out of life. How lucky he is to have a mother who
    is intent on letting him be him.

  33. They grow so fast and he is a gorgeous boy. So sorry to hear that he broke his wrist today. Not a fun way to spend a birthday!

  34. I LOVE the title & footnote (and poem of course!). Happy birthday, Maximus!

  35. I agree with Kris--"the person you would have been if people had let you"--broke my heart and yet made me happy. Happy that God gives us our children so that wounds can be healed somewhat. Oh, sweet Empress.

    Happy Birthday, special man. Maximus.

  36. Happy Birthday to Maximus

    And such a beautiful expression of a Mother's dream and love.

  37. Sounds like you are one lucky mama, but that he is also one lucky kid.

  38. Happy Birthday to Maximus---I'm just sorry his wrist is in a cast right now. But the photo is breathtaking, as is your grasp of him, his needs, his personality.

    Lovely, moving, powerful tribute, Alexandra.

  39. Happy Birthday to your son, Maximus! This is absolutely beautiful. I only hope to savor every moment as I watch my daughters grow and to remember each detail of their lives as you have with your son.

  40. I hope your special boy had a fantastic birthday!!

  41. My son turned 10 today. I spent more time than I care to admit staring at him, watching him...be.

    In many ways he is me and who I once was. I stare at him and ask myself what I can do to guide him into becoming who it is he wants to be.

    It is the big challenge of parenthood- teaching them to become independent and productive people who don't need us. Or should I say, don't need, but want us to be a part of their lives.

    Happy Birthday Maximus.

  42. Oh Maximus! How dare you! Fourteen?!? My daughter recently did the same thing to me. It was just yesterday (or so it seems) I was rocking her to sleep. I suppose she'll be looking to get married tomorrow afternoon.
    Well, if time must pass so quickly, I hope she chooses a poet as handsome as you to be her mate.

  43. Happy Birthday to him and to you!

    Your tribute is lovely and speaks volumes about your wonderful parenting as well as your wonderful son. Letting him be exactly who he is, with love, understanding, and support, is the best gift a parent can give (IMO)!

  44. Hello Friend. I'm still here. Just finding a few minutes to sneak away to see what you're up to.

    Happy Birthday to your handsome boy. Your tributes to your children are when you are at your best. And this is amazing and poignant and so full of love it takes my breath away.

    Thank you for the beautiful Christmas card. Your boys are so handsome. If only we lived closer, I have 3 fabulous, beautiful girls in mind for them. Wouldn't that be just the absolute best? My cards are still in their box due to the major global shift our lives have taken over the past few weeks. Maybe Valentine's Day.

    And speaking of . . . my mother-in-law is knocking on my bedroom door. She can only last a few minutes without me. I'll talk to you soon.

  45. What a wonderful and loving birthday post for your son. I love it! I hope you'll print it out and leave it for him.

    You are so blessed!

    Oh! When you mentioned he could name all the planets at age 2, I had to stop and think about it. I think I can only name 5 right now. LOL

  46. Beautiful post to your son. How's he doing with his cast?

  47. The time goes too fast. Happy Birthday Maximus!

  48. He's such a beautiful boy, in so many ways Empress. I love that you let him find his passions and applaud him every step of the way.

    Happy Birthday to your boy....and happy to his mom who won the prize so many years ago on this day.

  49. I just read your poem Alexandra... It feels so great that there is someone to appreciate him just the way his thoughts and he is...

    Happy Birthday Max.

    And Happy New Year to your family, xoxo

  50. So, so, SO beautiful...as always.
    Happy Birthday little man.

  51. Oh my. This is just incredibly beautiful. How blessed you are to have him and how blessed he is to have a Mama that allows him to be who he is.

  52. What a beautiful post!!! I know I just turned around for a second and my oldest is 7. I cry every year on their birthdays, where they can't see me of course, because I just want to go back for a minute. :(

  53. What a beautiful post. Happy Birthday to Maximus! Do you display his art? I have been saving my daughters' so much that I have 2 large tupperware crates full of their creations.

  54. Such a beautiful birthday post. Your children are so incredibly lucky to have a mother like you.

  55. Happy Birthday to your beautiful boy!!

    What an absolutely beautiful letter to your son. I love how you say, you "see him". You are an amazing mother Alexandra. To see your son, encourage him to be who he is and to celebrate all that he is without any projections of what "should" be.

    That is unconditional love at its finest.

    Your son sounds simply amazing. Happy Birthday to him!



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