Max

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Max is my new grandson.

Max was born in the night and at the end of exhaustion. We looked at him confounded. He gripped his mother’s tired thumb and hummed in sleep. We are trying out your name, examining your face, pushing to be chosen to hold you. When you are all fraught, so are we and our faces mirror yours and we can’t help it.

In the maternity ward and up high near the roof there is silver tinsel and there are baubles and bubbles of purple and green and outside is alive with gum leaves and Christmas wind. But we can’t take part in these things, we are so rigid with pride and respect for you and your young mother that we move through Christmas forgetting it is there.

You are busy with important work; breathing, drinking and sleeping. But none of us can get on with ours.

Max can gaze at things without a single blink. Away from his mother he is outraged because she is the mothership and also his every horizon.

I tell everyone that he looked at me first but this isn’t true. He looked at his mother, Abbey, first and tied his infant breath to hers.

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