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I Hate Water Except On Mother’s Day

By McNall Mason (Max’s Mom)


For months we’ve been working on drinking water. Max never liked water so in the beginning of his life he would just simply refuse to drink it at all – under any circumstances so it took a lot of work to get him to finally drink it under certain circumstances like when we’re hiking in 100 degree weather. That was a big accomplishment.


Like I often say… a lot of who Max is today was a seed planted YEARS ago. It’s like we planted a garden of seeds that we had no idea what they would flower to become and now after tending them for years, we see them open up and it’s a tiny miracles of “wow – I never would have expected that” and it seems like this is the magical year where we get more blossoms than expected.


Water… the fluid of life … the nectar of your tissue, blood, skin… the thing that you can only survive 7 days without… water… this years project was water (and other things too) but water was up on the list.


Everyday after school Max chokes down a short glass of water while he does his homework. In the beginning it was as if he was being made to drink worm juice – that’s the face he would make. Some days it was an outright struggle with a lot of “why do I have to?” and a lot of “because it’s good for your body and you need it” and a lot of “stop telling me to drink water all the time” and more “if you would just drink it, we’d stop having to tell you to”… and that’s been our life for months.


Suddenly it’s May. The weather is unseasonably warm and water is more of a focus. More digging in, more insisting. Then suddenly out of seemingly nowhere, Max comes home from school and says “can I have a big giant glass of water with ice in it, please” well “yes, of course” is the answer but secretly I’m like “what the heck?!” then he does the same thing today. Suddenly this is like revisiting his tantrum years in reverse. Back then he would have a tantrum for no apparent reason and I had to try to figure out why because he wouldn’t tell me and it was HARD… now suddenly he starts ASKING for something he’s been giving me grief about and I am left with the same “what the heck” feeling – except NOW I can ask him…


“Max, why all of a sudden after months of fighting are you asking to drink water?” I say.


“Because of Mother’s Day this weekend. I want to make you happy and I think that will make you happy” He says as if that’s the most obvious answer in the world.


It’s so awkward that once upon a time he tantrumed (regularly) for reasons I could not comprehend and I got used to that as “his way”… and now he is doing things for conventional reasons and it’s equally shocking and weird coming from him. I love him so much for all the surprises he brings and I also realize that all kids do that.


“This is the best Mother’s Day present in the world, Max! I love you!”

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