The Middle

I’ve swallowed up whole blog posts in my mind.

I have stories after stories churning in my head yet I tell myself that they should only be emailed to myself to share with my grown kids in the future or jotted down in a journal I only use twice a month at my writers’ group.

But what’s the fun in that?  So I decided to post a couple here, even though I always have this fear of being insufferable, too in love with my kids.  But hey, that is a part of who I am these days, as much as I find some aspects of motherhood beyond difficult (that’s ANOTHER post in the mental pipeline).

So, just a heads up that this post is for family and the few friends who have any interest in our kids:

My middle.  My E.Z. aka Emoji, Expressive Ellis, Ellis the Entertainer.  I once remarked to Kevin, “I can’t ever call him Mahng-Neh (“Last baby” in Korean) because I just don’t FEEL that he is.  And if anything, he would be perfectly suited to take on the difficult middle child role because he could never be a neglected wallflower, with those eyes and that personality.  Yeah, yeah, all this crazy talk about fantasy third kid, I know.”

Fast forward few years later and daggone, words have power.  He ended up becoming the middle child.  My impossible to ignore Middle.

Last month, we were in the elevator with an older woman.  Our new building is much friendlier.  This woman studied baby Olive and commented, “This one.  She is very smart.”  Then she looked up at the two boys who were shyly watching her watching their sister.  “These.  Look at their eyes.  All very smart.”

I responded, “Great to hear compliments about my kids but I have to ask.  How can you tell?”

She answered, “Believe me.  I am a retired pediatrician.  I know these things.  Enjoy your evening.”

After she left and the elevator door closed, Ellis immediately blurted out, “I’m retired.  Mostly tired.”

My body froze for a moment.  This humor!  I gotta book his comedy tour now.  I might have a fledgling comedian in my care.

When I made a big deal about his little joke, Micah explained that it was a direct quote from the Angry Birds movie.  So it wasn’t original material but this dude has a way of inserting a quote at the exact right time to yield maximum laughter.

He is loyal and vocal.  During a classroom visit, he ran up to a Class Mom to ask for a straw for the jack-o-lantern craft.  I told him that he already had a straw to cut up.  He explained that his friend at the next table didn’t.

And boy, I can relate to how he gets fixated on something.  Right now, he has an acute fear of college, this place that kids grow up to attend,  to LIVE APART from their families.  He said, “Even though I try not to, I keep thinking about it and I can’t just think about something else, like you told me to.  Even during school, I think about college and I get scared.”  As he plays Legos with his brother, I can overhear him include this in the plotline, “Son, you going to college!”

One weekend, I was taking him to an activity when he said, “I want to be a doctor.”

I told him, “Well, that’s pretty cool.  But you can always change your mind because you’re still young and other things may interest you.  Also, to become a doctor, you have to go to lots of school and study lots of science.”

“Yeah, and I know I can’t spend enough time with my wife so maybe not.”

“Excuse me?  Where did you hear this?  Did you have a doctor guest speaker tell you that?”

“No!  I just know these things!”

“Oh, and what made you want to become a doctor?  I’m so curious because Mommy and Daddy never wanted to become a doctor.”

“Well, I want to help people.  When I got a flu shot and I did uh, ya know, controlllll and holding it in, to not cry even though I was scared, that doctor was helping me not to get the flu.”

I come undone daily because of this spunky yet sensitive guy.  Sometimes, he does feel sad because he said it is obvious that Mommy loves baby the most because she needs me the most, and that he wishes he could be born again as a baby so I can hold him lots.

I have to set aside some one-on-one time for him, and reassure him that he is my babyest boy forever.

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