Max Baker Strayer, Maximus, Maximo, Maximoto, Maximototito, Moto,Tito. How is it that one name can spawn so many nicknames? When I found out that we had a little boy on the way I was admittedly terrified. My experience with baby boys was limited, having grown up with three sisters. I had really never considered what being a Mama to a little sir would be like. I was so worried, what would I do with this little male being? Did this mean I was going to have to (gulp) play in the mud all day? Did I need to develop an affinity for Matchbox cars?
The very second that Max was laid in my arms every apprehension washed away, replaced with love and excitement. I could not wait to get to know this little creature and to help him navigate life. Flash forward 4 and a half years and Max is everything that I ever dreamed a little boy to be.
He adores super heroes, planes and cars. He loves his older sister so much that he will play whatever girlie game she has devised for him. He is kind and compassionate, always the first to compromise in any dispute with Charlotte and after a day of hard play he still crawls into my lap for a snuggle.
Recently we discovered that Max loves to hike. A friend and I decided to walk our children up one of the foothills in Boise. It was a toasty day, we quickly had a few little people that were ready to throw in the towel. Max was not one of those little people. He had arrived at the trail with a destination in mind, he was headed to the top. He was devastated to discover that his fellow hikers were not as dedicated as he was. So a promise was made, I told Max that he and I would return together and go all the way to the top.
And so a couple Sundays back I woke my sweet boy up at 6:00am on a Sunday morning. Maxie is not so much a morning person so I was a little hesitant to wake him so early. I gently nudged his shoulder and whispered in his ear, "Moto time to get up, lets go for our hike." Max's beautiful brown eyes flew open, he sat straight up in bed and said, "I'm ready, let's go!"
He carried that excitement to the trail head, where we were met by my sister, and all the way up the trail. Every hiker we ran into that day took the time to encourage Max, they were so tickled to see a little boy up early in the morning to hike. Max kept his eye on the prize the whole way. Atop this trail is a white cross which he kept both my sister and I abreast of at all times. "Mom, we are getting closer to the X (Max, understandably, has a fondness for the letter X, he has been informed again and again that the X's at Table Rock and at church are actually crosses but he is choosing to ignore me on this matter).. When we reached the top the glow of his accomplishment was on his face. We lingered for a bit there taking in the sites of Boise and then we headed back down.
The climb down the trail was harder for Max then the way up. He was exhausted and began to trip. After a tumble or two (and a scraped knee) he said, "I don't like hiking." I scooped him up and his YaYa praised him for his efforts and told him not to lose heart. By the time we got back to the car I had an idea of how to celebrate his accomplishment, so we stopped at the store grabbed two chocolate milks and a donut for us to split.
The whole ride home with chocolate glaze all over his face he chatted my ear off, and cracked me up. His imagination and enthusiasm know no bounds. By the time we got home Max had decided that hiking was the best. The next day upon waking requested to go again, and go again we shall. I cannot even begin to imagine the heights this little fellow will climb in his life, or the goals he will set his eyes on. I do know that as long as I am able I want to be by his side, his encourager, his cheerleader. I am so thankful for my Max.