Maxie's Cousins

This little boy of mine. He is in every thought I have.  He in every breath that I take.  I am consumed with the essence of who he was all day long.  Tiny little tush.  Sweet pursed lips.  Perfect smiling dimple on the right cheek.  Ears that stuck out a little, in the most adorable way.  The most expressive face.  My soulmate.  This boy loved his Mommy and his Daddy.  He loved his grandmas and grandpas.  And he LOVED his cousins, Mandy and Sadie.  It probably helped that they were both obsessed with him. So here are a few stories about cousins Mandy and Sadie - important cheerleaders in Maxie's fan club!  They were the BEST big cousins a little boy could ask for.

When I first found out that I was pregnant, I did not want anyone but family to know.  I knew that someone told Mandy, who I think was 4 at the time, and I was worried that she might let the cat out of the bag at my dad and stepmother's Passover Seder, where several couples that are their friends join each year.  I was not ready to share the news with my parents friends, or my friends for that matter.  As soon as I walked in the door, Mandy came over to me, grabbed my hand and said, "You have to sit next to me."  Then, she looked right at my stomach.  All through dinner, she would smile at me and then look at my stomach and then back at my face and then smile again.  It must have been the HARDEST secret to keep.  During a break in the seder, she said that there was something she needed to show me in her room.  She grabbed my hand and pulled me into her room and then told me to sit on her bed while she went in closed the door.  Then, she confronted me, "There is a baby in there!" she said while pointing at my belly and I said "Yes, there is, but it is a secret".  "Is it a boy or a girl?", she asked.  I said "We don't know yet but we think it might be a boy".  "I want a girl" she said.  "How big is the baby?", she asked.  "It is very very small", I said, "but he or she will grow a little bigger every week until eventually he or she will be as big as a basketball."  "WHY would you DO that to yourself?", she asked with a look of shock on her face.  I laughed and then so did she.  I said, "Uncle Teddy and I really want a baby and we really want to be parents."  Before going back to the table, I reminded her that this was our secret and not to let anyone know.  She stared at my stomach through the rest of the evening, as if she was waiting to see the basketball growing right there in front of her eyes.  She was GOOD at keeping a secret.  I was surely impressed!!  She was like that through the whole pregnancy - asking questions, shadowing me whenever I was around, talking about her cousin, hoping for a girl.  When Max finally came, she was thrilled to have a little boy cousin and was singularly focused on his every move (even when he wasn't moving, she wanted to watch him sleep).  I remember the evening of Max's bris, Mandy wanted to be in the room and watch me get him ready.  She was fascinated with watching me nurse him but panicked when I told her I was getting ready to change a diaper.  The adoration stopped there!  She was not interested in dirty diapers.  She continued to be a wonderful big cousin to Max, loving him unconditionally and hanging on his every squeak.

Cousin Sadie lives in Connecticut and she is younger.  She just turned 3.  Her first visit with Max was in Costa Rica.  She was immediately smitten with him.  We rented a car and the way the car seats were set up in the back, I was in the middle, squished between Sadie and Max.  Sadie wanted a clear line of vision to her "Cuzzin".  "Where's Maxie?  I can't see Maxie.  Where's my Cuzzin?"  I was either leaning forward or trying to sit as far back into the seat as possible so she could see him.  Sadie and Beth stayed in the downstairs part of our house and Teddy, Maxie and I stayed upstairs.  Sadie would come darting in our front door every morning, after naps and other reconvening times with only one thought "Where's Maxie?"  If he was napping, she'd say, "Oh, Maxie sleepin?".  If he was in his bouncy seat, she'd say "Maxie in his bouncy seat?"  Maxie had a little monkey (well, he actually had 4 of them) "angel dear" brand "loveys" - they are little soft blankets with stuffed animal heads.  Sadie had a friend at her daycare with a doggie version who called it his "woof woof".  Sadie always made sure that Maxie had his woof woof.  If Maxie cried, she would try to console him by patting his arm and saying, "Don't cry Maxie.  Iss okay Maxie".  Sadie LOVES her cousin Maxie and doesn't know that he is gone.  The thought of us visiting without Maxie is too much.

How can these little girls make sense of this unfairness?  How can it be that they will never see their favorite cousin again?  Just two more innocent victims of this terrible crime that nature committed against my little boy.  They too will miss his sweet little face, his long beautiful eyelashes, his cute little tummy.  They will never get to play with him or dress him up or read to him or show him off.  My heart is so broken for them and for all of us.  Of course, it's most broken for Maxie.  The little boy with the two most adoring cousins in the world.  I am so sad that he will never have the chance to love them back with as much passion as they loved him.

No comments