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Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Middle Child

You hear it all the time...the poor middle child.  I am a middle child.  My sweet Abby is my middle child.  Tonight, Abby made her first communion.  We are so blessed to be part of a school and church community that celebrates this sacrament in such a special way.  The mass was beautiful, attended by as many as the church could hold, including every priest who is a part of the parish, and several who are not, our school administration team, and tons of friends and family.  Personally, five of our 7 guests traveled to be able to attend this event just for Abby.

I styled her hair as requested, like Taylor Swift, with fresh sprigs of Misty adorning her loose side-swept bun.  She wore a simple white dress with a thick, white satin sash.  I think she was the most beautiful one there, but, you know...I'm biased.  Abby was so thrilled to receive her first communion today because this wonderful team of 2nd grade teachers did such a great job of preparing them and teaching them about its relevance in their lives as Christians.  She was the belle of the ball tonight and she took in every moment of it.

This fact made me realize she needs more.  A middle child is a tough spot to fill.  You are not the oldest, so you can't do all of the things you're older sibling can.  You are not the youngest, so you have to help or do things for the younger one.  No one has to do anything for you.  You're fine.  In the case of my family, my oldest and youngest kids have formed an unbelievable bond which often causes Abby to feel left out.  As she looked up at me tonight in church with this big, wide smile, I realized that she was being phased by this attention so much more than her brother or sister would have been.

I get it.  I'll try harder.  Each night, one kid will stay up with me 20 minutes past bedtime.  We will talk, or read, or watch TV, or pray, or cuddle.  They all need to feel the love that I divide equally among them.  They do not always get that message in our daily lives.  I will make it a point to take a kid to the store with me when they want to go (one at a time, let's not get crazy).  I'll devote at least 1/2 an hour after work each day to what they need...not the laundry, or sweeping the floors, or cooking dinner.  I'll continue to hug and kiss them as I already do, but I'll do it more.  Zac may not like this, but the girls will love it.  I'll try harder.

Lesson:  Pay attention to what makes a child smile :)


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