A few weeks ago we were eating breakfast at a restaurant when a middle aged woman timidly approached our table.
“You have beautiful girls,” She said.
“Thank you!” I postured, anticipating the motherly compliments that usually come with taking you and your sisters out in public.
“I have two sisters,” She continued. “And that one…” she paused, pointing at you. “THAT one was born with a gift.”
“Go on…” I said, stuffing a sausage link in my mouth.
“She’s your middle girl. That’s special. She’s going to grow up instinctively knowing how to be a leader and a follower. How to protect and how to be vulnerable, asking for help when she needs it. How to admire and appreciate someone who can do what she can’t, and how to teach someone how to do what she can. She’s really lucky. Not everyone gets that gift.”
And just like that, she totally shattered the stigma I had always associated with being the middle child. The guilt I carry around that it’s you who gets overlooked, lost in the shuffle, doesn’t know what role she’s supposed to play.
But you’ve always known, even if I haven’t. Your role is to make us all laugh. To hop around instead of walk while you squeeze my hand and give random strangers high fives as you prance by just because. Actually, more like have random strangers give you high fives because you have been blessed with some sort of beautiful and mysterious magnetism that draws people in.
Your role is to learn from your older sister and teach your younger one. To love without hesitation and be more selfless and caring of others than a pre-schooler is supposed to be. To make friends with ease, and then be the best, most loyal friend anyone could ask for.
To love life with enthusiasm and vigor, while showing others how to do the same.
Your role is to dance.
And I am so happy you are not three any more.