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When it comes to my middle child, I have very strong emotions about her.
She is our most passionate child and she loves as strongly as she hates. All day long she rides an emotional roller coaster causing drama and chaos one minute and then peace and serenity the next. Of all my children, she is the child that most completes my life – the one that has turned me into the resilient mother I am today and the only one who makes me cry on a regular basis.
When she was born our oldest was 2 and he was still very much a baby. Perhaps it’s why I’ve treated them the same all their lives. They played with the same toys, bathed in the same tub and slept in the same bedroom. They share everything (sometimes willingly, other times not). So it was hard for her to stay home while he went off to school because she was used to doing everything with him.
While she knows that he’s older than she is, I don’t think she sees him as her “big brother” instead she sees him as her “best friend.”
By the time the baby came along her motherly intuition was a force to be reckoned with. It felt as though she grew up overnight and was no longer a little kid but suddenly a nanny to her baby sister. I questioned whether or not they would develop a sisterly bond because what seemed to be happening instead was that the baby was getting a second mother. The relationship between the baby and the older kids was much more separate, but yet they have all grown into best friends in spite of that.
I owe that friendship to our remarkable middle child.
She is the one who is creative enough to build a Lego tower with her brother but also patient enough to let the baby knock it down. She is the one who sets up tea parties for everyone to attend and suggests group games for them to play. It’s a rare moment when I see my oldest and youngest playing alone together. And when they do, they mostly just sit next to each other and play with their own individual toys in a peaceful silence. It’s our middle child and her dislike of being alone that brings everyone together.
And while I count on her to keep everyone together, I also know that she is more than capable of being her own person – of standing out and having her own identity. If anything, being the middle child has taught her that she needs to be loud and wild and unique to make her voice heard.
She has an amazing ability to read people and understand what they need. She’s on an emotional roller coaster all day because she’s trying to keep up with the needs of everyone around her.
She might be the dramatic one full of tantrums but she is also the peacemaker, the mediator and the one who unites us as a family.
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