For My Middle Child

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We have four kids. But since the second born is the only son in our family, there has only ever been one middle child in our family–0ur sweet daughter, Adrienne. Saturday is her wedding day. This Saturday! How can that be?

All of us moms have regrets about how we did things, but I think we have extra regrets when it comes to our middle children. Somehow they seem to get a little lost in the shuffle of things and end up not getting as much attention. I grow sad when I think of the cracks she fell through in my overwhelmed moments of being a mom.

Those of you who have more than two children may understand. With our first child every moment, every new milestone is full of wonder and excitement. With our last child, we pay special attention because we know that every time they do something new it is the last time we will have the blessing to watch from our “Mom” point of view. But those middle children, well, they can get a little neglected in the excitement of their older siblings’ “firsts” and their younger siblings’ “lasts”.

And, while I do think my middle baby always knew she was loved, I also think that she had the typical middle child experience. With that in mind, I write this post. I want her to know just how special she is and has always been to me.

As I was scanning old photos of the bride-to-be into my computer this past week, many special moments and precious memories came rushing back.

I remember when the ultrasound technician asked me if I wanted to know what I was having. I had guessed correctly with my first two and, assuming I was correct again, I told her I would love to know for sure, but that I was 99.9% sure I was having a boy. She told me that she was 99.9% sure I was wrong. I was so happy and excited to be having a girl! I had really wanted my oldest daughter to have a sister, since I had never had one.

When she arrived that hot August day, she was welcomed with great joy. She was such a calm and happy baby– until she was about 18 months, when, suddenly, she started thinking of things my other babies had never dreamed of! She explored the toilets and cabinets and climbed on dressers and got stuck behind sofas and under tables.

There was even the time we were vacationing at a cabin and we found her with some blue around her mouth. We figured out that she had eaten some mice poison she had found under one of the beds. I look back on those few minutes as some of the most worrisome of my life. What happens when a two year old eats mice poison? Thankfully, she didn’t eat enough of it for it to make her sick. But it was one of several frightening moments we would have because of her escapades.

But as she grew up, she became the child in our family who would give up the biggest piece of cake so one of her siblings could have it. She was our peacemaker and always wanted everyone to be okay. She thought of others and went out of her way to be kind.

In her teen years, those qualities grew quite dim and we struggled through all of the normal life changes. But how gratifying to see those qualities of her girlhood begin to shine again so brightly as she readies herself to begin her new life with her husband.

I am so thankful for all of my children. So very thankful. But I wanted to write this special post for my middle daughter. Today I have no deep spiritual lesson or challenge to grow to offer my readers. Just a few memories and a special message for one of my children–

Adrienne, you may have gotten lost in the shuffle on occasion, but you are loved deeply and our family would never be the same without you. I can’t wait to see how God uses you and your future husband for His glory.

I put a little video together from some of the old photos. I have to admit that I cried a bit while I worked on it. I am so happy for you but so sad for me. But this is the way of life. It is what we moms do. We raise our babies so they can go and live their own lives. Thank you, Adrienne, for being a woman who wants to honor the Lord with your life. Thank you for marrying a man who wants the same. We, as parents, couldn’t ask for more. We wish you the best as you move far away. While we will miss you so much, we know that the Lord will travel with you, keeping you and guiding you. I love you.

2 thoughts on “For My Middle Child”

  1. Valerie Hilsher

    Oh Leslie, I am bawling!! What a beautiful letter to your daughter….she is a gem. I got to know her a few years ago in the school kitchen–she is a great helper! You must be so proud to send her off into the sunset with Shane…you should be:)

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