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To My Son, The Middle Child: I See You

I see you trying to navigate the world being both a "big" and a "little" — and also neither a big nor a little.

08/25/2017 10:05 EDT | Updated 08/25/2017 10:07 EDT

To my son, the middle child:

As I come out of the blinding fog a year at home with three young kids has created, I can see how hard this year must have been for you. I can see you struggling to chisel your niche in this family, sandwiched between two sisters. I see you trying to navigate the world being both a "big" and a "little" — and also neither a big nor a little. You've had the responsibility of a big kid, but the lack of choices of a little kid. You have been expected to keep yourself together, control your emotions, your free time and your volume every day!

Amanda Haas

You've followed your sister around for a year, learning to entertain yourselves, learning patience and learning to forage in the pantry for snacks because my hands have been busy, my own patience worn thin.

You have fought for attention in the best of ways: helping your little sister, happily playing, eating your supper without complaint and spreading your love around. You have stolen attention in the worst of ways: yelling, hitting and slamming doors. You have tested our boundaries and created your own.

You have developed SO MUCH INDEPENDENCE.

Jenna Ririe Photography

I am so sorry: I hardly noticed how much you have grown. Quietly existing in the middle, you are often shadowed by your older sister's accomplishments, and by your baby sister's endless needs and firsts. Your attempts at being noticed brushed off time and time again, until you got loud enough to force everyone to notice you. I am sorry negative attention at times became our norm.

But as I come out of the fog and out of the baby trenches, I want you to know, I SEE YOU. I see how sweet your natural demeanor is. I see your love of cooking, and I know it is all because you want to be near me. I see how easy going you are despite your stubborn exterior. You are generous. You will give your last of anything to your sister (or your dad) every single time.

You gave me confidence as a mother and strength as a woman.

Baby boy (who you will always be), when you were born, I learned that my heart has the ability to love infinitely. You brought blue to our home, along with trucks, planes and wrenches. You are the dad, the worker, the provider... or the dog... in our games of house. You made us a family instead of a couple with a baby. You gave me confidence as a mother and strength as a woman. You made everything seem possible.

You fill up my love bucket every day.

"I love you to outer space."

"I love you to the moon and back."

"I love you as big as the whole world, the sky, and the universe."

And the latest: "I love you all the way to Norse Merica!!"

Buddy, I love you even more. I really do.

Love always, love all ways,

XOXOX

Mom

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