It was an early release day, and so I picked up the kids from school at 11:20 a.m.
We drove over to Gregg’s office to pick him up for a family lunch.
In the car, we were trying to decide on a restaurant, and the kids began to squabble over the options. One wanted pizza. Another wanted a burger. The third wanted Mexican or Chinese.
“Jack should decide, because he’s the most important,” Max said.
“Oh, honey,” I said with a sigh. “He’s not the most important.”
“Well, he’s more importanter,” Max replied.
“You’re all important. No one in this family is more important than another,” I explained.
“Are you talking about my diabetes, Max?” Jack interjected.
“Yeah, I mean Jack’s more importanter, cause he has diabetes.”
|Fresh out of the ocean|
Huntington Beach, California
Sweet, sweet Max, for him, the sun rises and sets with Jack. He adores Jack. He looks up to Jack. And Jack loves his role as Max’s older brother.
The boys are two years apart in age. Max was two years old when Jack was diagnosed with diabetes. Unlike Jack and Madeline, he doesn’t remember life before diagnosis.
I can remember Max at age two, picking up foods and asking in his toddler voice, “How many cahbs is dis?”
So I think it’s only natural for my now six-year-old to understand the importance and seriousness of his brother’s condition, but ay yi yi, I don’t want him thinking that diabetes makes Jack more important than he is.
When Jack was diagnosed, he was really into super heroes. So I started calling him “my super hero.”
Around the same time, I started calling Max “my precious boy,” which was a nod to Gregg’s grandma, whom I adored and who would call her beloved grandchildren “precie.”
I’d ask Max, “Who’s my precious boy?” He’d point to himself and proudly shout “Me!”
I still call him that. At night, when I tuck him into bed, and when his arms are wrapped around me, I kiss his neck or cheek and whisper in his ear, “Good night, my precious boy.” He’ll always be “my precious boy,” even when he’s 52.
And Max is irresistible. Though he’s skinny now, he was my delicious, chunky, squooshy, squeezy baby. It was hard not to hug him and smooch his chubby cheeks all day long. It’s still hard, because he’s so darn cute. I can not get enough of Max.
Not only is he a super cutie pie, he’s an all-around good kid. He’s doing really well in school. He’s a caring friend. He’s truly funny with a great sense of humor (don’t tell Jack I said this, but Max is WAY funnier than Jack). I’m so proud of him, and I tell him that all the time.
|Ice cream with a praying mantis|
Disney's California Adventure
But it seems that no matter how often I call him precious, no matter how much affection I shower upon him, no matter how much praise I give him, he’s still harboring this notion that diabetes makes Jack more important.
And that breaks my heart.
I need to work on my little Maxie boy. Apparently, he does not realize just how precious he is. Damn diabetes.