"No one likes the middle, Mom. It's a fact. No one ever calls the middle seat. No one wants a middle piece of cake. They want side pieces, the ones with all the frosting. Even you said you don't like the middle, because it's where the gray hair grows outta your head."
They placed him in my arms and he was tiny and perfect. And he looked up at me and gave me that look -- you know the one. He opened up his eyes and looked straight into mine and I could almost hear him say, "Hi Mom, I've been waiting to meet you."
I'm constantly witnessing ways in which my toddler son is getting less than his older sister did. And yet, despite the outward appearance of deprivation, I'm discovering that the things he's missing aren't as important as I thought.
I used to get so annoyed when outdoor toys found their way indoors: sand buckets and pool noodles, hula hoops and soccer balls, the tricycle, the scooter. Now, I just take three deep breaths and look away.
I wanted to protect him, but the more I focused on him, the more he fought it off. It was like he already had a shield of armor around his heart, which pretty much broke mine. I thought I had sealed his fate and he was punishing me.
I know that no two children have the same set of parents, even though they live in the same family. Why? Because parents are different with each of their children, and no two children ever take the same role.
You will be the third. It will be busy and far more loud and chaotic than anything your brother or sister was born into. You will be expected more than they ever were to do more, learn more on your own. You will never have less of me, but will have a different me than the one they first met.