Living in the Middle

I had the joy of spending Saturday with my middle child, Ladybug. When Ladybug tells people that she is a middle child, they imagine her as the middle of three, not the middle of eleven. She holds a unique place in our family. In many ways she fits with the older five, but by age, she is closer to the younger five. This is a tough position to hold and we are constantly navigating the complexities of it.

Ladybug is the friendliest person I know and has a great love for people. She can make friends with just about anyone and I admire that about her. She also loves Jesus and is not afraid to gently share her faith. Two years ago, when she was only eleven, we were directly behind a car that hit a large moose. Thanks to an airbag and seat belt, the driver’s life was spared; she was in shock, but able to get out of her car and into ours while we waited for emergency help to arrive. While I was outside talking to another driver who had stopped, my sweet girl asked this woman if she could pray for her, and in our car, with a woman whose face was bleeding, who was trembling in shock, my little girl asked God to heal and comfort her.

I really love that about Ladybug – her heart is so big.


Saturday she faced a disappointment. She had entered an essay contest and won the local competition, so we traveled to a nearby town for the district competition. After lunch, they began to announce the winners, beginning with fifth place, fourth place, then third place. Each time her name wasn’t read, I squeezed her hand more tightly. When she didn’t get third, I thought, “She is going to win.” Then they announced the second place winner, and her name was read. We were both disappointed, but I acted like the Mom and said reassuring things about how awesome her essay was and how proud I was of her. I meant every word, but I was sad for her too.

When the event was over, we headed to Costco. Ladybug wasn’t feeling very enthusiastic, so she said she would find a quiet place to read her book. As I was shopping, I ran into a friend who said, “Lisa, I think you are going to have a buy a piano today.” I looked at him quizzically, “Don,” I replied, “I already own a piano, a cello, a viola, violins, guitars, and who knows what else.” He smiled, pointed down the aisle, and said, “Lisa, I think you are going to have a buy a piano.”

I looked in the direction he pointed, and then noticed the lovely piano music. There was my sweet Ladybug playing the demo key board. I could not imagine being so bold! She played every Christmas carol she knew by heart and a few other pieces as well, all the while, people stopped to listen and thank her. Only Ladybug could go from disappointment to performing for shoppers in the space of an hour or two.

I admire her for not letting her disappointment turn to bitterness or self-pity. She carried on with grace and strength.

Life in the middle seems to be a good spot for my Ladybug.

Do you have a middle child?  Tell us about her/him.

#501 – 510 giving thanks

submission of an article I’ve been working on far too long

Russ spending time with his best friend from grad school

new snow boots for Honeybee – she is so happy

insight from a friend who can see things I miss

pancakes for dinner last night, when all else failed

Little Man’s stomach bug lasting less than 24 hours

a friend who cleaned the carpet while I cleaned a little boy who had no experience with vomiting

kind comments – yes, they really do mean a lot to me

Kathleen, who doesn’t mind when I cry on the phone

small group tonight – and the gospel of John

Have a great day, friends. I hope your Advent celebrations and Christmas preparations are going well.

Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

0 Comments

  1. Mama D's Dozen
    December 8, 2011

    What a cool story about playing the piano at Costco! She is one gusty young lady. 🙂

    One of the reasons that I am sure she "fits" more with the Big Kids is that she has found herself growing up very quickly due to the adoptions of the younger ones in the past few years. Not a bad thing … but she sounds like quite a mature 13 year old.

    Allow her to be "just a kid" when she wants to, but encourage her in her maturing, as well. I'm hoping that the Big Kids also open their lives to her and let her be a Big Kid some times. My 15 year old daughter grew up quickly, too (as we brought home 3 younger siblings from Ghana). Thankfully, her older siblings welcomed her right in to the Big Kid Club. (Sometimes I had to remind them that she was not quite ready for every activity that a 21 year old might do.)

    Wish your Ladybug and my Hosanna lived close enough to be friends. (Mine is a piano player, too.)

    Hugs!

    Laurel

    Reply
  2. Jessica Pair
    December 8, 2011

    How wonderful that you have raised a child not afraid to pray with a stranger. My guess would be that she learned by example. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Paula
    December 8, 2011

    What a sweet girl you have there. 🙂

    Reply
  4. Kylee
    December 8, 2011

    I suppose I'm a mid-kid. Number 4 out of 8, although our two sets of kids are pretty clearly divided. I am the youngest of the "older" group, but I sometimes feel a part of the younger group, only because I was the only one from the older group that was still in high school after all of the adoptions happened.

    Man, that was confusing. Needless to say, your daughter sounds like an incredible girl. Hooray for mid-kids! : )

    -Kylee
    learningtoabandon.blogspot.com

    Reply
  5. Julianne
    December 8, 2011

    Love your story! She is one awesome young lady…..Is she the one you had with you when you spoke at our Orphan Sunday in Post Falls? Very grown up and supportive as I remember.
    Please keep sharing, it is so inspiring and comforting as well.

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      December 8, 2011

      Yes, that was Ladybug – she's pretty amazing. Thank you for the comment, Julianne – it was great meeting you.

      Reply
  6. Emily
    December 9, 2011

    That's my Phoebe. I think they would be very good friends if you and I could have managed to live in the same city (at the same time). She was the baby of the family and lost that status when we brought the boys home so I always say that she is very much like both a youngest child and an oldest child because she acts like an oldest in so many ways. But being in the middle of everything has come at a cost too. The kid who did activities that fit with what her siblings were doing for instance. Btw she does look a bit like your oldest who is snuggled in bed under the same roof as me tonight!! 🙂

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      December 9, 2011

      Em, I think Phoebe and Ladybug would love each other – maybe we'll find out if you come visit. Thanks so much for hosting Sweet Pea in the midst of her crazy interview schedule – I hope to hear that Denver is her top choice 🙂

      Reply
  7. Beth
    December 9, 2011

    Ladybug is amazing! So thankful she is a part of our lives!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      December 9, 2011

      Thank you, Beth. I'm glad she is part of your lives – what a blessing you are to us.

      Reply
  8. Courtney
    December 10, 2011

    oh, this blessed my heart so much! i LOVED hearing about your middle one! she sounds lovely! our bailey is in the middle. i could go on and on. but she is perfect for it. thanks for sharing!c

    Reply
  9. darci
    December 10, 2011

    I loved reading this post. I suffer mommy guilt with my middle..who right now is only the middle of three…then I worry about my youngest, who will soon be the middle of five with a five year age spread one direction and 3.5 years the other…wondering how she will fit in, and how I will fit in all the cuddling that needs to go on. Thanks for sharing..what a beautiful daughter you have!

    Reply
  10. Carrie
    December 12, 2011

    Our Kreighton is a middle child she is child 4 of six and our youngest biological child. I know she loves her 2 adopted younger sibliongs, but it has came at a cost. I must remind myself frequently at what cost it came for her. She was the only girl with three older brothers that worshiped her. How her world was rocked when her younger sister who has behavioral issues and a younger brother came along. She went from being the princess to being a middle child. She also has matured alot because of the adoption but we often forget to let her be a 10 y/o.
    Thanks for your blog It is amazing. Thank you for sharing your joys and challenges.

    Reply

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