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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Reflections on a Middle Child

I was writing to a group of friends yesterday, who all have children born the same month and year as my middle child, Chris.
I asked them to update on that particular child.
I did the same and in doing so, took the time to really step back and see my amazing son as he is right now.. a "picture in time" so to speak.
This is what I sent them.

Surrounded on either side by two strong-willed, intense siblings, Chris plays the role of the middle child peacekeeper often. He is amiable and smiles often. He can move easily between his two siblings, playing down with Trey and then maturing up to Kate.

Chris is our most athletic child. He loves baseball and has played since he was 4 or 5. His favorite positions are catcher (he somehow manages to do it as a lefty, even after being told that "lefties can't be catchers") and first base. He can pitch and has learned to handle the pressure better, but he still "gets in his own head" and lets his own worry and frustration get the better of him. The mantra we work with him on is "The next ball is the most important" meaning, it's not what just happened you should be dwelling on but what happens next.
Chris also plays basketball before school and via Upward. He is improving and having fun with that. Since he'll be tall, it is a good sport for him to like!

Chris is also our most musical child.. he sings effortlessly and well. He also plays two instruments (alto sax and french horn) and is in the middle/high school play this year. He also writes for the school newspaper and will be doing the morning announcements at the school next year. He absolutely loves his new school and has reached out and grasped every opportunity available to him.

He has coped beautifully with our mutual decision to hold him back this year. We have undoubtedly seen a positive change in him this year- he is more relaxed in his posture and countenance, his "smile" is back, his confidence is back and he is loving life. The first quarter he made all A's and the second quarter all A's and one B, which was an 89 in band b/c he wasn't practicing. You can bet he wanted to kick himself hard after that!

Of all my kids, Chris has the most tendency toward being sneaky. His desire to please sometimes causes him to tell half-truths, even though his face often gives him away. He also can be quite wishy-washy and won't always give an opinion or make a decision b/c he is such a pleaser. We are trying to teach him that it is okay to be an individual and to make personal choices and decisions.

Chris is an amazing ray of sunshine in a family that can sometimes feel very tumultuous. My hope is that I don't push him into a mold of always being the agreeable, happy, easy one. While I absolutely love and treasure those aspects of his personality (you have no idea how much sometimes!), he has the right to be more well-rounded in every way.

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