Chip, charming #3, always trying to make a unique place in the world for himself. Today he went to school in his brother’s birthday cake hat. With one tall red boot and one short yellow boot on. His answer to every question was “no” and he wouldn’t kiss me goodbye. Not meanly, just trying out some new stuff.
Robbie, middle child. Always trying to get more more more attention. “Look at me! Look at me!” is his rallying cry. He is empathetic and concerned about others around him. (Watch me neglect the middle child some more: this paragraph of his is shorter than the others!)
Mike, oldest child. In-freaking-charge. I often feel guilty that he has to do everything first. He has to be the kid that I “learn on” — the starter model. I certainly won’t be as apprehensive about kindergarten for the other boys. I don’t worry about potty training Chip. I never worried about when Robbie would learn to crawl or walk. From Mike, I knew all these things would work themselves out in time.
No way to know the first time
But I didn’t know that when Mike was doing all these things, and that has made his transitions more difficult. But is that a bad thing? He’s had to be more self-reliant. He’s always been the trail-blazer. He’s rarely afraid of new situations. He loves being the biggest brother.
And while I think that being the first-born has placed extra stress on his life, today on his birthday I am reminded of the positives. He is my first child to turn 5, and I think I’m more excited than he is. When I tucked him in last night I told him that this would be the last time he would ever be 4, and we both giggled.
Sometimes it’s good to be first.
Before I went to bed last night I popped into the boys bedroom to re-tuck everyone in. I snuggled with sleeping Mike for a while, and reflected on how 5 years ago we were not parents. I thought maybe we never would be. Then Saturday morning March 2, 2002 we got the call that changed all our lives.
“A baby boy was born — come get him!” And we did.