I’ve been thinking a lot lately about “middle” in terms of Sam.
Sam’s my middle child, and I’m aware of all of the stereotypes. I’m also a big believer in birth order, and I think it’s fascinating to look at your family through that lens and wonder how much of their personality has to do with where they landed in the family line up.
Sam’s transition back to school was seamless. Remarkable only in it’s lack of remarkability. He was totally fine with the whole thing. Going school shopping was a breeze, he picked out a few lego shirts and called it a day. Snagged a Star Wars lunch box and backpack, a blue pencil box that he diligently packed with all the school supplies on the list. He was slightly nervous on the night before, but only in the last few minutes before falling asleep. And on the first day, he was relaxed and calm.
Sam had such a long journey to get to this point. He was the kid who had to be pried off of me, kicking and raging on the first day of kindergarten. In fact, he started sobbing on the ride to school on that day, begging me to turn around and take him home. He was so scared, so anxious, and I don’t ever take his ease with separation now for granted.
Everything with Sam now is easy. He’s mostly laid back, doesn’t get all hot and bothered about much of anything. He’s just a happy kid, content with the world and his place in it. I’m not saying that he doesn’t get rambunctious and crazy, because he does. He bugs his sisters and doesn’t always listen. But it’s easier for him to get lost, in between two emotional and dramatic sisters, and because he’s so calm most of the time, I worry about him not getting enough attention.
(I have very few first day pics with Sam, mostly because they were never happy experiences I wanted to remember… this one was from last year.)
He’s in the middle of his childhood as well, in a way that I probably wasn’t aware of with his older sister. With Jessie, I didn’t have any sense of perspective. But I can now that childhood, at least for her, ended sometime last year. She’s still very young, but no longer a child. She’s a tween, and it’s separate and distinct. Sam’s still a child. Julie is just really moving into that stage, she’s on the upper end of pre-school/toddler stage, but edging ever closer. Sam is right there. He’s mostly independent, doesn’t NEED my help for getting dressed or picking out his clothes. He can get himself a snack, walk to his classroom by himself. But he’s still little enough to crawl into my bed after a nightmare, and to snuggle up next to me every morning when he wakes up.
He’s my middle kid. On so many levels. I think sometimes I enjoy his childhood a little bit more – because it’s not the first one, and it’s not the last one. His is less pressure-filled, for me. I don’t have that sense of not knowing what I’m doing (which I have with Jessie a lot), or that bittersweet sense of knowing that it’s my last time with this particular stage (and I do that with Julie). With Sam, he’s just happy, and it’s beautiful.