Tonight was hard. I know you had expectations that your greatness would be recognized and I could see your heart sink as you realized that tonight was not your night. I am not a big fan of "participation awards" and "everybody wins" because everyone does NOT win. At least, not all the time. But let me tell you something - you did deserve to be recognized for 1,000,000 reasons. You deserved to have your name called out, the walk to the front, the applause - you deserved it all. I am not saying that the wrong kids were picked - only that you ARE great. I see you for all that you are and I. Am. Proud. You are the kid with the brains, the good looks, the humor, and the stable family (Well, most of the time :p) and it doesn't occur to people that you might need a little encouragement. It doesn't occur to ME enough.
I think you are amazing and it is unfair that I just assume you know that. As your Mom, it is my job to encourage you and cheer for you and not wait for someone else to do it. So please know that I am proud to be your Momma and proud of the man you are growing to be, so here's your recognition. Your blue-ribbon. Your room of applause. Your hootin'-hollerin'-fist-pump-in-the-air-atta-boy...
Max, You made me a Momma. You! Did you know your name means "Great One" or "The Greatest"? It is a very fitting name, I think. I am so grateful for you. You made my dreams come true. All I ever wanted to be was a Mom. I was so young and it is crazy to think that you are growing so fast. I have learned so much from you and I know I joke about it, but you really are my guinea pig. Thanks for being such a gracious one :) I have been blessed by you from the very beginning through all the hard things and tough choices, YOU have given me hope in a future that I didn't dare dream of. You are a daily reminder to me of God's faithfulness, Grace and Providence. God could not have blessed me with a better first born.
You are the BEST big brother - smart and kind - and so much help to me! I know I can count on you to be a good example to your siblings and be a leader at school. You bring joy to the lives of everyone around you and are adored by so many. You are polite, loyal, thoughtful and caring - a great friend to everyone. You are strong as an ox and as gentle as the lamb you have been tending to day & night for the past 6 weeks. I love that you don't play favorites and you don't leave people out. You are artistic and imaginative, a talented athlete and incredible student. I love that you love books just like me and have such a hunger for knowledge. You are adventurous and brave and noble and funny - and I love you.
I know you want to be the best at everything you do, but don't give up or count yourself out because you are afraid you'll fail or look silly. There are so many things worse than looking silly. You can be amazing at absolutely anything you want. God has gifted you in so many ways that I am daily blown away by you and the abilities you have. This is only the beginning - God has a plan for your life and I can't wait to see all the ways you bless people through Him in the future.
So, take risks - try new things. Stay humble, and know that you are capable of ANYTHING & I will be here cheering for you through EVERYTHING.
You are a great son, and I am one blessed Momma.