To my adventurous middle child,
My very dear second-born, how I love you so much. I know you can sometimes forget how special you are to me, as your younger brother and older sister need my full attention these days more than ever.
I hope you understand when I tell you, “hold that thought real quick”, it’s not because I don’t want to hear what you said to the boy on the playground or why bees are so important for the Earth, but because I want to sit on the floor, knee to knee, and give you my full attention. You deserve everything from me, every second of my time. You deserve to be the first.
But my time is constantly divided between three children: your older sister who needs help with her homework or your little brother who wants to breastfeed 24/7 or sit on my lap while he plays. . You are so independent, organized and driven that sometimes I forget that you still want me as much as your siblings. But know that I always see you, even when you don’t ask for my help.
My feisty girl, you must know how much I miss snuggling up to you on the couch or designing elaborate forts built with chairs, sheets and pillows. I miss playing “family”, where you tell me what to say and how to move the dolls. Do you remember when I used to read you the same story night after night? Or every night you asked me to rub your back and “hold you tight” while watching TV? My dear middle child, those moments meant everything to me. They still do.
Sure, we still have one-on-one time, and those tight hugs still happen, but they’re more like stolen moments that happen in too short snippets of time sandwiched between nursing sessions. or homework. Know that I promise forever sneaking in some time just for you.
Little girl, my middle child, I want you to know how much I love taking you for walks after the rain to jump in puddles and look for worms. These walks are something special between you and me because your sister hates getting dirty and your brother can’t walk yet. So those moments continue to be just ours.
My daring daughter, you have opened my eyes to so many new things, like the beauty of insects, snakes and animals. To you, snakes are fun because they move on their stomachs, and caterpillars are so fun to hold and pet. Before you, I would never have imagined visiting reptile museums, ordering caterpillars to watch turn into butterflies, or spending a day on a farm caring for baby goats. Now I this close to welcoming a pet rat into our home because you want one and I see your love for animals.
Your sister made me a mom, your brother completed our family, but you, my middle child, filled a missing place in my heart that has always been in your form.
Before you, I had no one who shared my love of sweets, coloring and dancing. Now, I always invite you to join me on a walk, a bike ride, or a trip to Starbucks for something sweet. How I savor these moments shared between you and me as we have the chance to reconnect.
You are my child who can find pleasure and benefits in every situation. Remember when I took you to a goat farm and the kid started eating your hair? Instead of leaving the enclosure, you laughed it off and kept your hair away from the offending child. You are always my little bright spot in dark times, sharing your optimism with all of us.
Raised as an only child, I never understood the sibling dynamic. But now I understand. As the middle child, you are your sister’s biggest supporter, trusted confidante, and sometimes rival. You hold her responsible but let things go with such ease that I wish to tap into your reserve of compassion. And your patience with your little brother rivals mine as you take the time to sit down with him and entertain him when I need a break from the ground game.
And you are such a good friend. Your ability to read a play and empathize with others amazes me. If someone is sad, don’t hesitate to ask what’s wrong or give them a hug. If your sister is going through a rough time or feeling overwhelmed, you know how to lighten the mood and always try to comfort her. You know how to compromise and go with the flow. But sometimes I’m afraid you’ll give in to avoid conflict or give up something you wanted just to please your sister or your parents. I need you to understand that your wants and needs are equally important and your feelings are validated. I see you trying to keep the peace, my second child. And I’m here to remind you that you don’t always have to bend. We will work on it together.
My middle child, I see you creating boundaries with me, your father and your siblings. These days you crave more independence, rebuffing my offers to help you put your boots on or pull a jacket off a closet shelf, and ask to be allowed to close your door when you need “time.” alone” with your sister. Or from us.
But those breaks are fleeting as you quietly enter your sister’s room and climb onto her bed to read side by side. Then, on my luckiest days, you walk into my room and hug me before jumping on the bed to play with your iPad while I work. Or you meet me on the couch and get on my lap and drape my arms around you.
Thank you for still wanting to spend time with me, even on the days when I ask you to wait for me to spend time alone with you.
You, your sister and your brother are the bright spots of all my days. The good days are better when I’m with you three, and you three are the rainbow of the darkest days when everything feels so heavy and dark. You three have changed my life forever. Your sister made me a mom, your brother completed our family, but you, my middle child, filled a missing place in my heart that has always been in your form. You made me more adventurous and showed me how to savor the little things, like eating frozen yogurt before dinner.
I love your curiosity, the way you always stay true to who you are and never back down from questions. You are adventurous, smart, creative, patient, and incredibly funny and loving. To me, you will always be my wonderful, brilliant, unique, bold and courageous daughter. Not to mention your ability to negotiate “one more candy” or a few more minutes on your iPad. I see you practicing these important skills that you will use as an adult.
My arms will always be ready for “cuddle time” and my attention will be constantly ready to shift to you whenever you need me. Please know that I see you, my little love, even on days when my eyes are drawn to your brother or sister because they are a little more vocal or need my immediate attention. I still see you on those days when you don’t ask me. I can always feel your mood and feel when you need me. I will see you forever.
I love you forever and ever,