Making Max Laugh

I have described Maxie as a very happy boy, always smiling.  Getting Max to laugh took a little effort.  Not a lot, just a little.  The sound of his laugh was so lovely.  My chest hurts thinking about his laugh and I am so sad that we have no videos of Maxie laughing.  We each had our own ways of making Max laugh.  Max sometimes would laugh a little while breastfeeding.  It IS kind of funny if you think about it.  I would be looking into his eyes and he would smile a little, without breaking contact with me, and give a little "u-ha".  The first time we heard of him really laughing was from my mother.  She said that she had been able to make him laugh over and over again.  She was sort of tickling him with a stuffed animal.  A couple of days later, we discovered that squeezing his little thighs made him laugh.  Ted could really get him going.  When I tried, it was hit or wasn't my "go-to" move.  Tisha, from daycare, would get in his neck and kiss and gnaw on him when he was all bundled up for naps and that always worked for her.  He laughed and laughed.  I ended up with a few tricks up my sleeve too.  I would walk my two fingers up his body really slowly and sing, "YOU ------   ARE -----  MY -----BABY!" and tap his nose.  I would do it over and over until the giggles came.  Another fail proof technique was to lie Max in my bent arms, holding on to him, and then lower him down and up.  It must have been loads of fun, because he really would just laugh and laugh.  He laughed when Ted and I played peek-a-boo and towards the last few months, he really liked when Daddy hung him upside down by his feet for a second or lightly threw him in the air and caught him.  That is how Daddy's and their boys play together - Maxie loved it.   My favorite way to make Maxie laugh was to sometimes take his little hand, while he was nursing or taking a bottle, and stick it in my mouth and gum it up while making munching noises.  He would giggle and give me a "Mommy, you are so silly" look.

These last 6 weeks have been a living hell.  All I want to do is get under the covers in bed and cry but I manage to do many other things.  I feel totally exposed.  I can find no comfort or calm.  There is very little laughter.  I am reminded with every second of every day that I am not a mother anymore and that I will never see Max again and it kills me.  Yesterday, my mom took me to get a foot massage at lunch time.  I did find a moment of peace while listening to the zen music and just relaxing.  I started to think about what Max would want me to do with my life.  I think he would not want me to just crawl into bed and cry every day.  No matter how much I cry, he isn't coming back to me.  I think he would want me to live.  I am not there yet but I found some peace yesterday, if only for a moment, in the idea that Max could be the inspiration for the rest of my life - a reminder to live each day to its fullest, because you never know which is your last.  A reminder to be present with my loved ones, because I never know which day will be their last.  Something to cling to...

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