middle child syndrome

She’s not the typical middle child.  First born girl or the baby of the family at best, my daughter Blaire has acted by the book.  I’m referring to the Birth Order book ,of course, by Kevin Lehman.  On a road trip many years ago, I read the characteristics of my first born boy, Jacob, and my first born girl, Blaire, and we laughed out loud.  It was spot on.  Blaire was my inquisitive girl.  She would rip the wallpaper off the bathroom wall while potty training, ‘just to see what was under it’.  She would test us before bedtime with the, ‘I’m thirsty’. Or ‘Can you turn over the lullaby cassette tape?’, or slipping her hand out of mine while crossing the street.  My favorite Blaire story is when we were standing in a Mexican souvenir shop and she picked up a small glass bottle with a paper ship in it.  Always touching stuff in fragile stores she was particularly facinated by how they got the ship in the tiny bottle. So naturally she decided to check how hard she could squeeze the bottle before it would break.  Well, she squeezed too hard and it broke. I made her fess up to the shop keeper and the lady made us pay for it.  I kept that tiny paper ship to remind me of Blaire and her boldness, tenacity and inquiring mind.  Yes, at the time I was pulling my hair out!  With a mind of her own, somewhere along the road this girl matured.   Following the crowd was not her.  She made her own decisions.   As much as we butted heads at the time we were growing to appreciate one another and I always had her back.  She was elated when we were going to adopt a little sister for her.  She has not grown tired of Zoe. She adores her every day.  Zoe has made Blaire the middle child now and although not in the typical Kevin Lehman way she claims it when she is forgotten in conversation.  Although not true, she feels like we talk about Zoe and Jacob more than her.  So this blog is for her.

My beautiful daughter who will turn 18 in 4 days.  She has a heart for kids.  She has a heart for Africa.  Ever since our trip to Ethiopia she has been wanting to return to Africa and is fulfilling that dream in 5 days from now;  A mission trip to Kenya to see a school being built that she has personally given her hard earned money towards.  While other teens were stressing over school grades Blaire’s efforts went into lifeguarding classes and the special needs community in her school.  This overflows a mother’s heart.  Her love for God has grown over time and she has committed to one year to study the Bible in Texas and take time to think about where God is leading her for the future.  A super proud moment since that is what I did 27 years ago.  Blaire isn’t swayed by popular demand and so today on Graduation Day she will go to work like usual.  A decision we back up completely.  With all the senior celebratory functions that occur in a span of 10 plus days I don’t know how these teens can handle it.  She is proud of her accomplishments and we are proud of her accomplishments so hanging out with thousands of people today doesn’t appeal to her.  Maybe it’s the American push but Scott and I didn’t go to our graduation in Canada.   I think some feel like graduation is the end of high school and I believe Blaire is saying it’s the beginning of her future.  She’s ready to move on and we support her 100%.  So a picture of her in my backyard with a cap and gown on works for me.  When a high school teacher tells me that she is sure to read about Blaire’s humanitarian efforts some day, my heart sings.

I was sharing with a young mom about raising our kindergarteners and how at the time you think you are making mistakes and motherhood is so difficult.  I get the privelege of seeing what worked with Blaire and getting to approach motherhood with Zoe through a new set of lenses.  Don’t freak out about the little things.  If your daughter is clumsy at the dinner table and spills at every meal it makes for some good laughs when they are older.  Be mindful that they are definitely watching you more than listening to you.  A wise friend told me to always pursue your kids.  So through the emotional ‘don’t talk to me stage’ keep them close.  Blaire didn’t verbally express her love for me much (I homeschooled her through the awesome elementary years of cool mother days gifts so I lost out) but one letter just a month ago made up for all of that.  A mother’s day letter that expressed her appreciation for all the little things I’ve done for that kid and she saw it all.  She is special and I hope you can see the special moments in all stages of parenthood.

Many tears will flow leading up to September but remember that God has our kids and praying for them daily will allow you to rest in that peace.