My husband and I are both middle children. If anyone get’s what it’s like to be in the middle it’s us. When your in the middle It’s easy to feel over-looked, not heard and constantly struggling to find your voice. I know certainly it can feel lonely in the middle which is probably why we can relate to Ada, our stuck in the middle child. Now that I’m a parent I can say that it’s not only tough to be a middle child but also to parent one. Ada can be confident and well spoken but often has a hard time communicating what she’s feeling or needing. If you let her she would gladly find a quiet space and retreat with a few of her favorite belongings. Unlike Norah my oldest who is a constant ball of chatter and is energized by social interaction, Ada is the happiest being home one on one with the family.
Knowing this about Ada we try and plan something special to give her a break from being stuck in the middle. Her deepest love language is quality time, getting her alone just allowing her time to feel loved and appreciated all on her own does the trick every time. Ada is crazy about her dad and often ask’s if they can get married. She adores spending time with him and getting his undivided attention so naturally one of the best ways to achieve quality time for her are daddy dates.
They were only together an hour but you would have thought they just embarked on a 5 day vacation the way she gleamed. Nothing we could buy or any material item could ever take the place of this joy. Our children are vulnerable and open hearts to us. They will do anything it takes to win our approval and receive affection. Valuing and affirming our kids turns them into conquers. God has given us that kind of ability to empower our children.
Today was a beautiful reminder of the importance of taking that time with each of my children. I’m thankful for my husband who is extremely sensitive to our families needs. He comes up with extravagant ideas to love our children and leaves me challenged to do the same in our everyday life.
On the way home i looked in the back mirror and Ada was smiling with tears in her eyes. She caught me looking and with a little embarrassment said ” I’m ok mom. These are happy tears. I’m so happy”!