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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Middle

Middle children. I never really grasped the concept until we had one. I'm the youngest of four, and definitely had a lot of things easier in life being that I was the little one. It's just how the ball rolls, I suppose.

Now, I don't think the whole "middle child syndrome" applies to all middle kids. After all, Superman is a middle child (sandwiched between two sisters), and he seems to be none worse for the wear (is that the right phrase?).

But M-Dog is a classic middle child. Two older brothers, two younger sisters. He's not the only boy. He's not the Type-A personality that Mr. C is...he's not the outgoing, rarely-shy J-Man. He's not a cute girl with a contagious personality or a sweet little baby. No, he's just M-Dog. Middle child. One of the biggest challenges is that M-Dog is a quiet boy. He's easy going, tender-hearted and really quite compliant (aside from when his brothers are ganging up on him). He can get lost in the shuffle quicker than I can get away from someone smoking a cigarette.

You see, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Or, the squeaky child gets the attention. And he doesn't really squeak. I mean, he squeals a lot when he falls down, but he doesn't really squeak.

Poor M-Dog. I'm constantly racking my brain (is it wracking? racking?) trying to figure out what makes him tick so we can start to really nurture that in him. He loves cars and trucks and tractors. He loves playing outside...and he loves video games. Man, that kid could be an addict lickety-split. But I don't know what's at the core of him yet. I don't know what his God-given talents are or what it is that fills him with passion.

We try to do things one-on-one with our kids as often as we can, even if it's just going to the grocery store with me, or the bank with daddy. But I never feel like that's enough.

How do I make sure he doesn't grow up feeling like a completely lost little boy? How do I help him find himself and feel confident in his place in our family? I know it's still early--he'll only be five in April--but I want to help him now.


J. said...

I have that worry for fudge too if we get more kids. It is hard to make sure no one is lost int he shuffle.

Britts said...

Thanks for your honesty. This is something I think about, too (I know, we don't even have an "oldest child" yet, but I tend to think ahead :o)). It's something I think about a lot too with my students at school and church. The quiet ones are so easy to forget about in the bustle over the more demanding ones. And yet those quiet ones just may have what it takes to change the world if cultivated in the right way. If only it were easy!
Keep trying! :o)

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