Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Middle Child

I was a middle child. Well, I suppose I am a middle child.

I wasn't the oldest - with the coolest toys and the new music and the stuff no one else was allowed to have.

And, I wasn't the baby - that everyone oohed and ahhed over.

I was a middle child. And, even though "oldest" and "baby" children perhaps have issues of their own, I remember feeling insecure about my place in our family.

I see that struggle in my Max. My middle child.

I'll often find him sitting in the corner, or on his bed, or on a park bench - having wandered off all by himself, away from his brothers - when just moments before he was running and playing and laughing with them.

He'll just be sitting there. Alone.

When I go to him, and ask him what's wrong, he'll respond with a big sigh and say, "Nuffin', Momma".

But, I remember what "nuffin'" means.

I constantly wanted to be reassured. Affirmed. Reminded of my place in our family. I wanted to know that I wasn't just lost somewhere between the "oldest" and the "baby".

But, I never knew how to say that.

It only takes a moment with my Max.

I simply whisper, "I love you, buddy. You're Momma's special boy." And, I wrap him up in my arms.

And, with that, the irreplaceable, unique, one-of-a-kind smile of my precious middle child returns.

Unless, this middle child business has nothing to do with that smile at all, and he's really just happy as a lark because I told him I'd get his older brother for throwing sand in his eyes and spitting on him.

It's one or the other.


  1. I have a middle child...'nuff said. He too has his struggles with his place, but he's oh so very special.

  2. I truly believe in the middle child syndrome. It's obvious you shower little Max with 'nuff lovin and attention. And with a face like that, how could you not!

  3. You have a way with stories, Sar. Your children are so blessed to have you as their momma. So blessed.

    Max will not have the middle child "nuffins" because he has an understanding, never-let-ya-go momma.

    It's worth saying again: So blessed.

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  5. I deleted that last comment b/c I realized I should just post my thoughts on my blog rather than doing so on your comment page! :) Needless to say, you've got me thinking on this again.

    Thank you for sharing your heart with us and reminding us how easy it can be, if we pay attention, to help our kids work through these feelings that can cause a disconnect and yet feel like 'nuffin' too.

  6. Way sweet...I especially love how your pictures totally catch exactly what you are describing. It's like watching a very touching movie. Your boys are so blessed to have you!

  7. I like your story and these are such sweet pictures!

  8. I'm out of my league...being the oldest, the middle and the baby, all at once.

    I just love those baby cheeks. He is so adorable!

  9. This got me. We've worried about the middle child issue with our three, but thought we'd avoid it since our middle is also the oldest girl. But, lately, I've noticed some battles between my older two and some favoring between my oldest and the youngest. I'm keeping my eye out and trying to do something. Today when she was feeling sad, I thought of your post and took her aside for some extra snuggles.

  10. You just ooze with love over every one of your precious boys.

  11. "he's really just happy as a lark because I told him I'd get his older brother for throwing sand in his eyes and spitting on him." this made me laugh so hard!

    sweet post sarah.