Wow, the response to the Fox and Friends interview was immediate and amazing!! We sold over 250 stories on Sunday after it aired. I stayed up late and replied to every email and I felt pretty good about getting through them all before our appointment on Monday.
When we got home Monday night from Atlanta, I expected to find just a few unread emails, maybe from people who were replying to the email I sent to them. I was shocked to find hundreds more stories had been sold. All I could think was maybe a person who bought a story had a lot of facebook friends or something -- LOL! As it turns out, it was on the front page of Yahoo News. Although I missed it, I heard it was the big pic when you first open up the news and all the stories were gone within a few hours.
I must say the overwhelmingly positive response to this has really blown me away. There is so much negative happening in the world and yet, the way people have embraced Malkolm brings a feeling I cannot fully express with words -- which is a big deal for me, because apparently I have a lot of words that I need to get out on a daily basis.
The genuine nature of the notes of encouragement for Malkolm, the personal stories of grief and joy and the wishes of peace and prayers for our family. Just ... wow. It's been unreal. To have so many people see something special in Malkolm and want to help him is just amazing.
I have to admit I am generally a pretty positive person -- in fact I've been suffering from "Overly positive view of Life Syndrome" since a young age. I remember my friend in 8th grade ... we were arguing about something and she got so frustrated and said "Life is not a bowl of cherries, Jennifer!" Seems like something I would hear a lot over the years, maybe not in those words, but with the same general idea being presented.
One of the comments on this blog earlier, can't remember which post, but it talked about Malkolm seeing the glass as half-full. When he read the comment he asked what that meant. So I explained the concept, and he was delighted that there was a metaphor available to explain optimism and pessimism without hurting people's feelings. And that is SO MALKOLM.
This little boy who at 3-years-old took a slinky from two fighting kids claiming to have a solution to their slinky issue. "Wait, wait! I have an idea!" He took the slinky and gave one side to one of the kids, and the other side to the other kid and said, "There, now you can both play!" It was a perfectly simple solution to him, though, of course, was not really a good solution at all considering how you play with a slinky -- but I loved him for trying... For stepping in between these two older kids who didn't even know what to say when this younger one stepped in (one of them just ended up walking away), but who were apparently going to fight indefinitely about whose turn it was to play with that slinky.
Unfortunately, with any story that garners attention like my son's idea has, there come naysayers and people who just generally tend to see the glass as half-empty. And I can appreciate that, even if I do not agree. (Life would be boring if we all had the same ideas and thoughts. There would be no Malkolm story if he was a clone.)
There are also those who would like to use his story, our story, to further their political arguments or causes (or even use my son's auction template to create a new bogus ebay listing that has nothing to do with us), but those people are missing the heart of the issue.
The heart of this issue is that there this special 9-year-old with amazing faith who wanted to help his family using his God-given talents. At the moment he mentioned it, he didn't even really realize the depth of what he was suggesting (I don't know that any of us did), and I believe he still doesn't totally get it. But that just makes him more amazing to me.
As his mother, I could not be more proud of him than at this moment. The young man he is trying to be, the man he will become. I can see glimpses of him taking long walks with his son and talking about life. I can see a flash of him in a tux at his wedding, as he marries the woman of his dreams. I can see a young man who is even now somehow heads and shoulders above many adults in his ability to see the world in a way where he genuinely wants to treat others preciously even at the expense of his own satisfaction or gain. At the same time, I see him as the 3-year-old with the curly locks and the floppy hat standing in front of an elephant at a zoo. ... kind of a strange dichotomy of feelings to sort through.
I see this young man who has no business understanding some of the things he understands, and doesn't quite have the emotional context to fully grasp them. I hope I can be there on the day when the emotional maturity catches up to his understanding and everything clicks into place. What an amazing day that will be. For now, he is just a really neat 9-year-old learning how to be 9. And when he just starts to get it, he will turn 10, and so on and so on.
Just over two weeks ago, Malkolm had surgery. Already it's starting to feel longer and farther away. This is a good thing I think. When I look at my son, my daughters, my husband ... I know things are just as they should be, naysayers or not.
I am going to go snag some cuddle time.