Monday, May 22, 2006
Middle Man

Before he was born she asked me, "do you think I could ever love this child as much as I do my first? What if I don't?" I assured her, she would. I knew because I am a mother of more than one.

I am a middle child. I have a middle child, Leslie. She says we middle kids "get the shaft" a lot. Being middle children we're usually okay with that. Growing up with three in front of me and two behind was a comfortable place to be. I learned from the mistakes of the first few, and didn't get spoiled like the ones behind me. I usually had somebody to play with (albeit it army in the woods), and was okay when I didn't. I got hand-me-downs, life lessons, somebody to stick up for me at school. I didn't have the same expectations put on me as the older ones; and when I hit the same heights, I was applauded, where it was expected of them. Our kids have an ongoing argument - who does Mom love the most? This Mother's Day I finally settled it - I bought them each a t-shirt which read "Mom always liked me the best." They're all my favorite. First, middle, last.

Caiden is not only the oldest in Chris' and Sarah's little family, he's our oldest grandchild. (Four's not old but you know what I mean here.) We have been amazed at everything he does; his drawings are on our fridge, we've boasted about him to friends and neighbors. We are highly amused by his daily antics and tolerant when he's not so amusing. Phone conversations are a highlight for us, even if we don't quite get everything he says. He is our delight.

But this middle child, this little man - being under two, he talks only a little. We don't have phone conversations, yet. We love him the same - knowing the buddies we will be someday is good enough for now. There's also no doubt their newest addition, precious Addie will be another apple of our eye. Jeremy and Leslie will welcome Jack into the world this fall. The great thing about grandchildren - the more the better.

We were there, last week, when Chris and Sarah brought Addison home from the hospital. Daddy had Addie (don't you love the sound of that), and Sarah walked ahead slowly. Caiden ran to his mother and greeted her with all the exuberance of a four year old.

Grayson waited. It was one of those times when time stops. You just know - remember this. They collapsed together onto the sidewalk, not even making it into the door. The sun was on their hair and faces as they melted into one. They didn't say a word. He had all he needed, his thumb, his blanket and his mother - all to himself, even if for only a moment. I wished she could step outside herself and see what they looked like. I wished he could see the love his mother had for him.

Right then this little mother was completely fulfilled holding her middle child. I already knew, but then I saw - she has more than enough love for all three. We have no favorites, at least not the more noble of us.

For GrayGray, being the middle man - not a bad place to be.


  posted at 9:24 AM

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    Girl Raised in the South

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