Sunday, October 29, 2023

Stuck In The Middle With You

Today my second born grandson turns four years old, and this fabulous little boy needs a letter from his Nana. 

Dear Max,

It's your birthday! Today you're four and I cannot wait for you to be celebrated big by your family and friends. Your birthday is number five in a family of five, and it's not easy to be the caboose on the family birthday train. 

You were right there beside your big brother when he had his extended celebration(s) this summer. Then earlier this week your sweet little sis had her first birthday, and you were there cheering her on, still waiting your turn. 

And now it's here.You honestly didn't seem to mind the wait and I think that's because there's something very special about you (many things actually), but one big thing is this- 

You my sweet boy are the one in the middle. The middle child. The younger brother and the older brother too. But not the oldest brother. And not the baby either.

A lot has been written about the middle child phenomenon, but Nana is going to tell you a few things she knows first hand, because guess what? Nana is also a middle child. If you were sitting beside me right now we could fist bump. 

I'm a little sister and a big sister too. But not the biggest sister. And not the baby either. 

I'm like you, only not quite as smart. You're so smart Max, and you have the vocabulary of someone much older. In fact sometimes we forget how old you are because you have so many words and you know how to use them. 

You're always working things out, the hows and the whys, but also context, tone, and nuance. It's pretty remarkable. You wear your emotions right there on the surface too, and sometimes they spill out all over the place, occasionally in the form of mad tears, but more often in the form of the biggest best hug anyone could ever want or need. 

You moved this year, your third house in four years. There are grown adults who've lived in fewer places, and you Max have settled in so well to this new home, new neighborhood, and your new place in the middle of your family. 

Did you know middles are good at lots of things? Waiting for one. We come into this world never knowing what it's like not to have to share or wait a turn. We become good at negotiating and keeping the peace. We're often introspective. We form strong bonds and learn to go with the flow. We want fairness and we're trustworthy friends. 

Who wouldn't want to be a middle child? You're surrounded by love on all sides, and that is a marvelous thing. 

You played on a soccer team this fall and I think you liked it. You work your own Lego projects now, have become skilled at riding your bike, love trips to the zoo, bugs and lizards and playing outside, books books and more books, and most of all your big brother and your baby sister. You have opinions and big feelings and the absolute best smile in the whole wide world. 

Happy birthday 'baby wheel'. You keep us laughing, on our toes, and feeling ever so grateful for the gift of you. Keep bringing the fun, keep learning more and more about this big beautiful world and the One who made it, and who made us too. Know always your Nana loves you deep and wide xoxo 

"Stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Let all that you do be done in love." 
1 Corinthians 16:13-14


  1. You revealed some interesting observations on being the middle child. This was both a great letter to grandson #2 and an informative blog post. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  2. Such a lovely and moving letter, thanks for sharing it I really liked it, I do things like this for my grandchildren

  3. Oh my goodness, four years!! I remember your trip to S. Korea to see this little guy when he was just a few days old. Time. I always love your birthday letters, Joyce, and know they are treasures for the annual recipients. Thanks for letting us in on all the love!! xo

  4. Happy birthday to your very special grandson! Your letters to them are precious.

  5. You write the most beautiful letters to your grandchildren -- what a gift!!

  6. Happy Birthday to your grandson! He is so cute. You write the best letters and he will love reading this someday.

  7. Happy Birthday to your 4 year old!!! I love your letters.