Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Up the street from us live two kids, Sophia and Max.They have known Scooter since she was about three years of age. They live with a mother who is a buyer for a high fashion store and a copywriter for a father. Their dad is the primary caregiver as their Mom has to go into the office and their father has the luxury of working through the house. He is in charge of the endless array of pandamonium that exists, on a daily basis, in his humble home.

Sophia's name does not fit the image of 'a Sophia'. When I think of the name, Sophia, I think of sun dancing on the lake, soft gentle winds rippling the water, a seagull in the distance, I think of meadows filled with butterflies maybe throw a few bunnies hopping along for good measure. This is how I perceive the name Sophia as it dances off the tongue like sweet butter and equally blends with the scenery I have painted .

The Sophia I know does not fit the image of the name I just painted. The Sophia I know is: a tornado. The Sophia, I know, is a hailstorm with a few fallen trees and maybe a car pinned underneath with screaming children for good measure. She is a force. A force to be reckonned with.

Sophia is a rough a tumble type of girl. She excels in most sports, but her favourites are karate, soccer, skateboarding and hockey. Her favourite past times are throwing farts, watching the scariest movies around and retelling the most gruesome parts ver batum to anyone brave enough to listen.

Her mother hoping to have some semblance of a daughter has forced her to have to have long hair but as a concession Sophia may wear it the way she sees fit. And braided and to the sides make it easier for her to place a hockey mask on.She has never worn her hair loose as what would be the point to draw attention to the bain of her existence. She proudly boasts on the fact that she does not own one dress. She will only wear boys clothing. And she will normally tell you this, through 'belch speak' to drive the point home.

Sophia is not 'trapped by the fixings of being a girl'. She swaggers in a room and firmly chest butts her friends. She is loud and gregarious. She can belch like the best of them and at dear age of nine has all the confidence in the world. She always has a group of boys waiting in attendence for an impromptu game of shinney before the bell rings for school and She is always up to telling or listening to a joke about poo or is willing to hear any conversation about other 'nasty' bodily functions.

Her brother Max is the opposite. He being two years younger is unsure of himself. He always has his eyes cast towards the pavement and he is always a few paces behind his sister and father on the walk to school. He never runs and always walks like he is about to discover gold under his father's shoes never casting his head up.

Max has a learning disability which has hindered his ability to communicate and as a result is a pretty solitary boy. He is quiet and extremely shy. His voice is rarely heard in the daily routine of their day. He is blonde and gentle. His hair is long but with the massive amounts of curls he has it gives the impression of a big wig. There is something purely angelic about him. He is like a beautiful, sweet, Cherub.

His sister Sophia has given him all the Barbies that were foolishly bestowed upon her by relatives. (Friends would never have made that mistake as they would fear the pummelling they would get for mistaking Sophia for a girl.) Max loves his Barbies, he loves the gowns, he loves the sequins and he loves their accesories. He can play for hours with his dolls and loves the world of fantasy where everything comes out fine in the end.

My daughter knows the two well. Scooter used to be a classmate of Sophia's and as a result had been over for many a playdate in the past blending between the two personalities. She would be 'Wendy' to Sophia's rough and tumble Peter Pan and then would go and coax Max out of his shell for some quality Barbie time. Scooter was the only friend of Sophia's who paid any kind of attention to Max. And Max coveted the time they had spent together.

Seems like a pretty distant time as the years have fallen away. My daughter no longer attends the same school as Max and Sophia and playdates together are a thing of the distant past. But we do still see them at the local ice cream shop from time to time or on en route to various events.

Valentine's Day was approaching and Max's mother, Jean, thought that she should be the parent to take her son out and purchase some Valentines for him to give out to his classmates. She knows how sensitive her boy is and wanted to take him away from the abrasive Sophia so that he may take his time and pick out the cards to his liking.

When at the store Max protested.

'I do not want to give out Valentine's Day Cards!' he said.

And Jean thought it was due to his shy nature. She tried to talk with her son about it. She tried to tell him how sometimes it is just important to let people know that you 'like' them. 'Just a token Max that's all it is.'

And he said he didn't want to do them. There was no one he would wanted to give a Valentine to.

And his mother said that it was fine, but she still had to buy some for Sophia as she wanted to give out her cards to all of her friends. And Jean added that she wanted to get something special for her husband Bob. Because, Valentine's is also about love... And I loooooove your dad Max! and I looooove you too, even if you do not want to give out Valentines.' And with that she kissed he son on the top of the head and headed off to complete her tasks in the card shop.

And as she was looking around Sophia's cards, she found her son walking around the store with the biggest box of chocolates in the shape of a heart. His mother filled with pride as she thought the chocolates were for her. She felt a success in her heart as felt she did jostle out the notion of what Valentine's was about.

'He didn't want to give them out to his friends, he wanted to give it to his ole mom,' she thought and with the notion so firmly planted in her heart, it caused a tear of pride to swell in her heart which lead to a tear to form in her eyes.

'Ah, Max. That's a pretty big box of chocolates. '

And Max agreed. He added, 'They are for someone pretty special. Just like you getting one for Dad!'

And with a bit of presumption she said 'Honey, I do not need a box that big!'

And Max looked at the woman who gave birth to him as though she were a Martian. 'You???They are not for you!' came his indignant retort.

'Ohh? ' trying to hide the dissappointment in her voice.'Are they for your teacher Miss. Douglas. She is a really good teacher'

Well, Miss Douglas is a good teacher but they are not for her.


Well? What?

Honey, who are these chocolates for?

They are for Scooter.

Scooter? Down the street Scooter? Down the street Scooter who you have not played with in about a year and a half, Scooter?

Yes Scooter.

Right then.

And so he went to the counter and purchased his big box of chocolates for my daughter.

He went home and painstakenly made a heart and a wee note that just said
'Love, Max'.

And then he instructed his mother that he had to give it to Scooter immediately.

And with that, Mother and Son came to our door.

The door bell rings. I hear a thudd, and a scampering, as I go to answer the door.

And there on our outside table is a big box of chocolates with a giant red ribbon and Jean standing in front of me sheepishly smiling.

I look at Jean and she laughs.

'Ahh, Max wanted to drop this off for Scooter'

'How Sweet! Where's Max?

Ahh, he is under your porch?

Under my porch? and I go out in slippers, in the snow and look for him.

Max?And I can see the halo of his hair... He is looking down and refuses to show his face.


'Yes.' comes a meak voice. through his jacket.

Max? Did you bring this for Scooter?


Do you want to see Scooter?

Oooh, Okay...

Just a minute, then

And with that I call up to my daughter who is in the middle of a playdate. She comes bounding down with her friend in tow.

Yes, Momma?

Ahh Honey, Max is here and he kinda brought you something...


It's on the front porch...

And with that she flies out in her stocking feet.

'Ohhh! Wow...' She says and she looks at Jean. 'Ahhh?Where's Max? '

Oh he is under the porch.

Under the porch?

And with that my wee gal calls for Max.

Jean points to where he is.

My daughter bolts down the stairs before I can tell her to take heed with her in her socks.

My daughter kneels down. Max?Max you are so funny! Come out! Thank you for the chocolates? Do you want one? She looks up and sees her girlfiend shyly standing on our porch in her bare feet... Max? This is my friend Jamie. Jamie this is my good friend Max... Ohh, you don't want to come out? Ohhh that's okay. Thanks for coming over Max!

And with that Scooter rustled his hair and rushed up the stairs and into the house with her playdate ...

Jean laughed. She had to recount what lead her to my porch just as I have recounted it to you dear Blogger.

Max did comeout from under my porch and he looked like the King of the World. His head held high and a certain glow to the cheeks which I had not seen before... And Jean even commented on the same...As he took her hand and made her skip back home.

He conquered purchasing the chocolates, he conquered making an extra special Valentine, he conquered our stairs, he conquered having a voice that stood alone and he conquered his first of many hearts.


Anonymous said...

And with that I am crying!

Sarah said...

I'm crying too.
My prayer is that my children will be the kind that play with the quiet ones just as your Scooter does. How sweet. That warms my heart.

Catherine said...

Your daughter sounds like the most precious little girl that's ever walked the earth. And Max is obviously one of the smartest little boys. :)

chelle said...

That is such a sweet Valentine!

Mamma said...

An angel...a perfect angel.

How wonderful that Scooter is so comfortable with a kid who might be labeled "different." You must be so proud of her.

Thank you for sharing's so beautiful.

FortuitousEquilibrium said...

Very nice to read.

Sayre said...

I do not even know what to say. I got all choked up. Max reminds me of someone I knew when I was young - and doing something like that can require much bravery when you encounter the less-than-caring kids on a daily basis. And along with Max's bravery, your daughter appears to be a beacon of light in his life. That is VERY special, indeed.

Christina_the_wench said...

OMG that was too sweet, Pend. Scooter is such a good kid. She could have been embarassed in front of her girlfriend and pretended Max was just a 'silly boy' complete with eye roll and giggles, but she handled it so grown up. I am proud of her for you. Tell her for me, won't you?

wayabetty said...

My 23 month old is named Sophia and she is nothing close to what you have described of this Sophia. Although she does have two older brothers to contend with, but I just hope she will not be as abrasive as this Sophia.

And I do hope that there will be many Scooters in the world when Max grows up. Poor kid. You're doing a great job Pendullum!

Andrea said...

What a sweet little boy! And your daughter is perfect.


Anonymous said...


What a great post.

(And we'll see how MY Sofia turns out... not sure if she'll be a tornado, but who knows!)

Anonymous said...

Awwwwwww.... that is so incredibly sweet. You have done well in raising your daughter to be a kind, caring and compassionate person! ;o) She is a good friend to Max.

Oh, The Joys said...

That is just staggeringly, heartbreakingly WONDERFUL! (As always with you!)

Gina said...

What an uplifting thing to read about love and kindness among our children. So often we hear only about how greedy and selfish they are. There are more out there like Scooter and Max than we probably know about, thanks for sharing.

shoparound said...

What a nice gift. He's a thoughtful little guy. Very sweet story.

Grim Reality Girl said...

Pend, you are so good at conveying the beauty of the moment. You made me cry again. I love a happy cry.

Anonymous said...

Pend- I guess I would have to find someone that doesn't live in my house to feed me while I lay on the couch and watch TV because I don't think there's anyone that I live with that could do it without farting (husband and children all included!)! ROTFL!!

strauss said...

Awww! That is such a sweet story. And your daughter sounds like such a lovely, gentle, compassionate girl - bless her.

Emily Snipes said...

That was so sweet!!! Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm trying to catch up on a few of your posts. You obviously have a knack for this writing thing.

urban-urchin said...

your daughter is so kind, no wonder max gave her his heart.

Catch said...

Another fabulous story Pen!I can see you have raised a very well adjusted and sensitive daughter! She knew just what to say to wonder he loves her! This is very heart warming. I have to laugh at your description of Two totally different wonder how that happens coming from the same family, but I know it does because my two boys are total opposites of each other.

I remember when Ash was in Kindergarten and I babysat for a little boy in her class...after school they would sit at the table eating their snacks and they just loved to use the word fart. They would just about fall off their chairs laughing. I have a picture of them holding hands on their first day of school.I wanted to put it up on her picture board for her graduation party...she said " no way, I dont even talk to Jeff anymore......go figure! lol

Attila The Mom said...

Oh, I'm just overwhelmed by this story. With Max, you've described my little guy to a t---Barbies and all.

Where's my darn Kleenex?

Thanks so much for writing this!

Damselfly said...

This is the best Valentine's Day story, ever!

This is also why I always fell for the shy guys.

Vancouver mermaid/Montreal photographer said...

Awww...this has GOT to be the sweetest stories. I just got my "boost" for the day. Just when you lose all faith in others, you stumble upon a post like this...thanks for sharing it. I think, as you can probably tell, it's meant something to each of us you shared it with.

Lady M said...

What a lovely series of triumphs!

Thanks for visiting my place and for the link to Kevin's "translator" video. So funny!

Wendy Boucher said...

That is the sweetest story. I love how you tell stories. I have the whole picture right in my head.

mad muthas said...

what a fantastic story! and what a delightful, naturally lovely girl your scooter sounds. you must be ever so proud of her!

kim said...

that is the sweetest story ...and now im crying ... your daughter is a very special girl :)

Kevin Charnas said...

I love Max. He's the best. He frickin' rules, actually.

AND HERE'S TO COURAGE!!! For courage doesn't always roar, in fact most of the time, it whispers.

Kevin Charnas said...

And Fantastic Scooter? Well, she takes after you, friend, doesn't she?

heartinsanfrancisco said...

This almost made me cry. Well, not exactly almost.

Your daughter is an angelic being who truly understands the workings of the heart. And she will always be the special person in other peoples' lives.

You are an amazing mom to have such a child.

kim said...

totally crying! Man-can you tell a story!

Mom Ma'am Me said...

You are an incredible story-teller. That was the best Valentine's Day story I have EVER heard. Defnitely crying here!

Mandy said...

That is the sweetest story I've heard in a long time. What a sweetie! He's going to make a great husband, someday. His sister sounds like the kind of girl my Olivia will be....and yes she's got that girlie name that doesn't quite fit her either. I would have named her Danielle (my hubby is Dan) had I known better.

Foolish said...

It make me sad...

Cheesy said...

Found you through a link from Scott in Oregon...
Im sooo glad I clicked it!


Lawyer Mama said...

Aww, that is such a sweet story!

amusing said...

Scott sent me (though I enjoy calling him "Scoot")

Love a good box of chocolates!

InterstellarLass said...

What a lovely story.

bon said...


I have looked high and low for an email addy, cannot find one so here I am leaving you a sappy comment in an older post.

Wow. I am in awe of your writing. It's like you are introducing me to someone and suggesting that maybe I will find them loveable... and I am tripping all over myself to agree with you because I am now IN LOVE with them.

Powerful. And I wish I had a private forum to do my butt-kissery in... butt there ya go!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely Breathtaking!

I wandered over from the Suburban Oblivion Post-Link... and WOW! I loved the story. I even have a tear or two in my eye.