A heartfelt letter to my stubborn, determined middle child

To my incredible, stubborn, determined middle child,

I’m writing this letter to you, because I want you to know something: I see you.

Amidst all the daily chaos that comes with being number two in a family of four sisters, it’s easy to see why you may feel the need to assert your space in the pecking order of our family.

Whilst I am sure you think I get caught up in the every day hustle and bustle that comes with being the mother to you and your three sisters, truthfully – you are never far from my thoughts. I will concede that some days go by and it feels we haven’t really had a chance to talk or to be with each other, and for that I am so sorry. Being your mother has always been a fairly effortless breeze, something I have such gratitude for.

I know sometimes you feel so very very angry with me; for many reasons: you feel like I am not there for you enough, you feel like I push you, you feel like I leave you to find your own feet and you might feel like I spend too much time with your sisters and not enough with you.

I can’t imagine what that must feel like. And even though you may feel I’m not there, I always am. But you have within you a different kind of resilience and strength to that of your sisters.

Truthfully, I know you have the courage within you to manage on your own – even when your sisters don’t, I know that you have the strength to master any challenge you are faced with, I know that you are capable and incredibly intelligent enough to not need me to hold your hand all the way.

Except on the days I will. Let’s go back to the days when you were a baby and you practically spent all your hours wrapped on my back, hey? You were such a chilled out little koala baby, completely opposite to your sister. You’d happily go along with whatever the day brought, content to do things as they came about – placid and happy.

Not much has changed now that you’re growing up. The many hurdles you encounter and the patience that you seem to have makes me so very proud to be your Mama. Although your temper is fiery, it settles quickly and easily with a hug – just the same as when you were little.

You wear your heart on your sleeve and feel all the feels, deeply and fully. But then you let them go and release them: you don’t hold grudges.

Through the times when you ferociously try to assert yourself by being the best at whatever you do, I can see your desire to be seen and make your mark. I see you. You don’t need to be the best at anything though, for my love for you to exist.

In your stubborn and determined nature, you strive to make many things a competition which you can outrun your sisters in – your older sister, especially. You have patience that she doesn’t have, and you have the tenacity to ultimately have the odds work to your favour. Something I greatly admire.

When you and I have locked horns over a petty argument and your need to be right is so intense and all-consuming for you, I am reassured that as you grow older and face challenges you will be strong-willed enough to manage yourself and truthfully, I fear for your opponent! You do not take unfairness or injustice sitting down, and you fiercely fight for the underdog.

So, my darling daughter on the days when you are playing netball on the field, desperate to catch the ball – I see you, when you leave me paintings and love notes after a rough morning – I see you, when you bravely fumble your way through difficult times and maybe feel invisible – I see you and for all the other times you feel like you need to make the most noise to be heard – not only do I see you, but I was always there and always listening, all along.

You are unequivocally irreplaceable, and my world would not be the same without you.

Love, Mama.

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