01/09/2015 06:00 pm ET Updated Mar 11, 2015

Middle Child: You're The Good Stuff

Liesl Testwuide

My middle child was on a rant. "No one likes the middle, Mom. It's a fact. No one ever calls the middle seat, especially on the Scrambler. 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."

Then he said, "And come on, the middle finger is the bad one, right? There's no way that's a coincidence. As a middle child, I'm doomed to a life of medium-ness."

And before I could stop myself, the words just sorta slipped out: "Honey, I think you mean you're doomed to a life of mediocrity."

"Thanks, Mom. Thanks a lot. I feel so much better now that I know a fancy word to describe my middle child miserableness."

"Oh, honey, I think you mean middle child misery."

It's true. He'd had a tough week. His older brother, home on a school break, had received a lot of positive attention. In addition, he'd been dragged along to watch his younger brother play multiple hockey games. And due to conflicts, I'd missed both of his recent indoor soccer games. And I might have forgotten to pick him up from the Y, but it only happened once.

He stared at me with such serious eyes, practically drowning in his brother's hand-me-downs. Finally he said, "I'm really sad. It's like I'm just kinda here... taking up space in the middle."

So this little diddy... this one's for my middle child. I bet your middle child will like it, too.

You're The Good Stuff

by Liesl Testwuide, mother of only one amazing middle child

You're my 7th inning stretch, my afternoon nap, my five golden rings, the button in my belly.
You're the cherry in my chocolate, the soda in my straw and the hook in my book.
You're the free space on my BINGO card.
The firefly in my jar.
The funny bone in my arm, and my dream before that alarm.
You're the gooey in my s'more, the "ch" in my a-ch-oo, and the "u" in my hug.
You're my balmy summer night and my porridge that's ju-u-u-u-st right.
You're the warmth in my year, the smile between my ears, and the salt in happy tears.
You're the middle: the glue who makes us giggle.
You, my middle child, are the good stuff.

Follow Liesl Testwuide on her blog, Hairpin Turns Ahead, Facebook, and Twitter.