Photo: Caitlyn Viviano

Sometimes it’s hard to be sandwiched in between two siblings who both require a significant amount of time and attention in completely different ways.

The oldest, needing to be out the door at the crack of dawn in order to get to school on time. Then after school, it’s spelling words, reading intervention, and dance. Her sweet and sassy self is always keeping us on our toes. While the baby requires so much of me, from pumping around the clock, scrubbing bottles, physical therapy appointments, and endless laundry. He is happiest when being held and generally hates to be put down even if just for a few short minutes.

But you, my sweet middle child, enjoy the simple things in life and require so little to be truly happy.

Thank you for running into my room with a big smile, hands full of dinosaurs, asking me to play with you, because the chores can wait.

Thank you for eating anything and everything I put on your plate even if it’s green and looks like a tree.

Thank you for loving our outings to the grocery store just as much as our outings to the toy store.

Thank you for picking me beautiful flowers and weeds on every walk we take.

Thank you for telling me I’m “the best cooker ever” when I make you boxed mac n cheese.

Thank you for never throwing a tantrum when your sister gets to go somewhere and you have to stay home with me.

Thank you for accompanying me to every doctor’s appointment for your siblings and never complaining about all the waiting.

Thank you for drawing me unique works of art and presenting them to me with such pride, even if you do call them “scribble scrabble.”

Thank you for entertaining yourself with toy cars and action figures while I pump and feed your brother.

Thank you for loving me as you do, even on the hard days, and telling me I’m beautiful, even if I haven’t showered in a few days.

Thank you for giving the best hugs at the perfect time, and for making me feel whole again.

One day, in the not so distant future, you will be in school all day and the house will be eerily quiet. No loud games of Ninja Turtles where we run around the house together with cardboard swords pretending to fight off “bad guys.”

No more afternoons playing in the dirt in the backyard and looking for bugs that you will convince me to let you bring inside. No more lazy days snuggled on the couch watching your favorite cartoons and eating way too many cookies. No more late afternoons reading truck books followed by long naps. You will have an exciting life outside the house and won’t need me as much. So for now I will soak up every minute, every day with you, my loving and perfect middle child. You, my son, are something special and our family is better off because of you!