Introducing our SON
Maximus LeGrand Gold
Born at 1:17 pm. 7 lb. 9 oz. 20″
At the ripe age of forty, I gave birth to my crowning jewel last Monday. After four wonderful beautiful daughters, God saw it fit to bless us with a son. I don’t deserve him. I don’t deserve any of them, yet, they are here and they are mine. Bear with me as I indulge myself a post to reflect on motherhood and what it means to me.
I believe I could just type “All I’ve got is tears,” and that may be my best explanation, but let me try and put those tears into words, no matter how pathetic it may turn out.
We struggled with naming Max. LeGrand got to pick the name and was really set on Nathaniel, but our 15-year-old, Abigail, hated the name. I liked it, especially since it is the name of one of LG’s really cool great great grandfathers, but I didn’t want it to be shortened to Nathan or Nate. And you know that they (meaning everyone) always shorten everything (coming from the mom of an Abigail who is Abbie, an Isabella who is Bella, and a Sophia who is NOT Sophie out of her sure determination in correcting everyone.) Sophia loves Greek and Roman tradition and so we went back to the drawing board (the internet) and looked up Latin names. When I read aloud Maximus, the name instantly sang to the whole family. As everyone gave their approvals individually it became official as we went around the room and each one-at-a-time declared a collective fondness for Maximus. It just clicked with all of us. I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. The meaning of the name was just a perfectly fit bonus:
Not only did “The Greatest” go good with the already chosen middle name of LeGrand, which means the “The Big”, but it was a ringing of what was in all of our hearts…we were all finally getting another man in our family and that was pretty much the greatest thing that could ever happen. And we have not been disappointed. He is the greatest. Honestly.
I don’t know what it is, but there is something special about this baby. I don’t know if it’s because I am so much older or if it’s because he’s a boy, or maybe it’s just that I am reflecting an obvious adoration from our whole family, but this kid is the greatest. I have never been so proud. I feel like a peacock strutting around with my feathers. He is total perfection…..and God granted me the privilege of creating him, growing him, and birthing him. How does God find me worthy for that? I don’t know, but He does. It’s completely astounding.Totally overwhelmed is how I feel at the honor of the privilege and responsibility.
Last night as we were going to bed, LG and I talked about each of our kids individually (as we often do) and submerged into the swamp of life as we reflected on emotional, physical, and spiritual needs that always seem greater than what we feel we have to give. If you think about it, it really is a miracle that parents show up every day, knowing they are going to fail no matter how hard they try….and that they do that day after day, year after year. The hardest part about kids growing up is not that they become sassy teenagers (that’s actually pretty entertaining): it’s that they become your reflection.
I’ve been made to stare at myself four times over with my girls: at times all of my glory shines through them…all of God’s glory shines through them. Often, though, all I can see is my many vulnerable raw flaws in them….ones that I don’t want to have, much less bestow upon my most beloved children. Yet, I’ve given it all to them: the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. Looking through my own trash is the hardest thing that I’ve ever done. Knowing that I’ve embedded even the tiniest sliver of it into them is suffocating: like a deadly respiratory virus with no doctor. I know that I’ve screwed them up. I can’t deny it. No matter how hard I have tried to keep my trash to myself, it somehow got to them and tarnished them. Oh, how that fact hurts.
But, guess what? When I allow Him, God sorts through their trash -my trash- for me and He throws it all out and allows me to see only the shining jewel that I started with. The shining jewel that was His, that he loaned me, because He loves me and believes in me and wants to give me His joy. All five (it sounds so awesome to say FIVE) of my children are shining jewels. Walking miracles. Beloved son and daughters of God. It is God that gives me the greatest miracle – the miracle of the atonement – the miracle that sometimes shines brightest for me today in my kids: imagine it: only shining jewels to be found where for years I have involuntarily deposited my trash.
It’s just that when I look at Maximus (and oh how I could stare at him all day), there isn’t any trash to sort through just yet. The only deposit I have made so far is not trash but my greatest gift to offer: childbirth. God in his infinite wisdom and mercy knew exactly what He was doing when He called upon me to be that “older” mom. He wasn’t giving me a burden, He gifted me a rare jewel. Max is the greatest because it is he who has helped me see the jewel in all of them. Maximus is the perfect name because he came with the greatest message, “They are mine Alice. They are all mine. They are the rarest jewels, and yeah, you will dirty them up, but you are still good enough to be their mother. I will clean up your mistakes: all of them. You are my jewel and I have not a single flaw.” God is so good at reminders.
Congratulations Alice! Maximus is adorable. I loved this post. Every word.
Thanks Kodi. I’m glad you liked it, but I’m even more glad you took a minute to read and comment. It warms my heart to know that people actually read this little old blog.
I love you, you are super woman in my eyes. If I ever grow up, which we both know isn’t likely to happen, I hope I am as wise and wonderful as you. Then again who needs to grow up, I’m pretty sure Maximus just made you even younger then you are. Thanks for making me cry, and helping me to be a better mom.
Thanks Heather. I’ll take younger!!! Sometimes I wish I could start all over knowing what I know now….but I guess that what the next life is for. We all need to help each other be better moms….let’s face it…hardest job in the world.
He is beautiful! All your children are. Congratulations!
Thanks Angel. We have been blessed in the beautiful children dept.
Congrats on your beautiful baby boy Alice! 5 kids must be a huge challenge. Sounds like you got it covered though.
Thanks Amanda. I LOVE having five. I do believe it’s the perfect number for our family, but even though I don’t have it covered EVER, I know the God who does. Can’t do it without Him.
I love you, Alice.
I see now how his name fits so well and it works because you ALL love it. “I’ve embedded even the tiniest sliver of it into them is suffocating” is my favorite sentence, not because it’s so painfully true, but because we feel so responsible for them, so accountable for their everything and we want them to be better than we are. This post is so eloquent and persuasive, you almost have me thinking a girl could be in our future in 5 or 6 years. Or maybe not. But I am so happy for you and your newfound joy in a baby boy.
Shannon, you are such a great mom. How about trying for that girl now so we can arrange a marriage? 🙂
“Le grand” in French means “The great…” E.g., “Les grands ecoles” means “the great schools,” which is how they designate the best universities in France (and “les” is the plural of “le”). It can also mean “the big,” but the usual sense is “the great.” So welcome to the world, The Greatest The Great Gold.
Thanks for the clarification Newell. All this time I just thought I was married to “the big”. Lol
Maximus has a really great name to live up to for sure. Hope it’s not too much pressure. 🙂
Congrats Gold family. He is so cute. I love the smell and cuddles of a new born.