This is the story of John Maxwell Olsen. Born on August 14, 2002, he came into the world on a beautiful August afternoon. This much wanted, much loved baby boy was born exactly a week to the day after my sister, Melissa, had given birth to her own first child, a boy named Will. Best friends from the minute they were born. Max started out as a challenging baby (meaning he didn't sleep through the night until he was 13 months old!!) then became an even more challenging toddler. What kind of mother was I anyway?? There were many days when Buck would come home from work to see me crying--feeling like the worst mother in the world because all I did was so "no" all day long to a little guy who wanted to touch, do, and say exactly everything that he was not supposed to!
Max and I grew out of our challenging phase and he became an absolutely delightful little boy. There is hope for any mom of a "spirited" child out there. Looking back I can see that all of the qualities that challenged me with Max are qualities I probably have myself--it's hard to look in the mirror sometimes! Also comforting to me when I have challenging moments with my other toddlers is that those personality traits that sometimes drive us as parents crazy are the traits that will serve our children well as they grow up.
Max is now a big 8-year-old, the oldest of our four children. He plays that role very well. He is a big helper at home, loves to take initiative and is the most self-motivated 2nd grader I have ever seen. I rarely have to remind him to get his reading minutes done. He is on ME about getting homework or projects done. He is sweet, he is loving and affectionate, and boy oh boy is he a rule-follower. For the stubborn toddler that he was (and YES I am telling the truth about that--just ask Buck!) it is truly wonderful to see the young man that he is now.
But perhaps most important, Max loves Jesus. He already wants to become what God wants him to be. He shares Jesus with his friends at school, and acts out Jesus's love on a daily basis. He reads his Bible and has more verses memorized than I do! Thank you, Lord, for being present in Max's life!
Max's favorite activities are anything basketball-related. He is the Drake men's basketball team's biggest fan. He loves reading but will tell you math is his favorite subject in school (he's darn good at it too!). He loves to watch football and is a die-hard Vikings fan. In the summer though, he shifts to a die-hard Twins fan. He is our brave boy and is a great water-skier and wakeboarder! We are truly blessed to have Max be our firstborn, our beloved son.