This my friends, this is my little Deanie. My only middle child, the one child of my three who exudes the most joy, lives most unabashedly, and revels in life to its fullest. All the previous is absolutely true unless - UNLESS - he has low blood sugar. Then? Well, let me just say that he's a whole 'nother animal (emphasis on animal).
Renowned Christian counselor Dr. James Dobson says the following of middle children:
"The middle child does sometimes find it more difficult to establish her identity within the family. She enjoys neither the status of the eldest nor the attention given to the baby. Furthermore, she is likely to be born at a busy period in the life of her parents, and especially her mother. Then during her preschool years, her precious territory is invaded by a cute little newborn who steals Mama from her. Is it any wonder that she often asks, "Who am I and where is my place in life?"
I'd love to hear from all of you out there with middle children, to see whether you find the above to be true for your family. In our case I truly don't sense that Brody has any trouble finding his place in life. Call me blind, call me ignorant, call me what you will but really, he seems very well adjusted! Brody is boisterous, outgoing, fun-loving, most affectionate and truly, truly so joyful. I think I can best communicate this joy by relating a story from the very recent past.
While in Colorado during the end stages of Zack's dad's cancer, the kids and I established ourselves as permanent fixtures in George's hospice room for a day. As difficult as were the circumstances, the unending supply of ice cream in the family freezer, the doting nurses, the portable DVD player set up in the room, and the general kid-appeasing character of Zack and I caused the kids to find hospice fun. After spending an entire day camped out we began packing up to leave. Brody, deciding to use the potty before hitting the road, began taking quite some time in the facilities. I went in to check on him and found him humming away on the potty. I helped him finish up, got him reclothed and opened the door for him. As he ran out of the bathroom he gleefully cried, "Mom, this is the best place EVER!"
Hospice the best place ever? Really, this eight room facility geared for those at the end of their lives? Fun? All I can say is praise God for the perspective of a four-year-old. Actually bigger than that, praise God for our little Brody Dean!