Picture
     The first time I saw her I fell in love all over again. I knew the feeling because of oldest child, and I didn't think my heart could possibly hold anymore love. It could, and it did. When I met her she was absolutely beautiful and she still is. 
     Middle child is the exact opposite of me. I am a tomboy and she is the epitome of a girly girl. She loves nail polish and makeup. Her favorite color is pink and she adores anything with glitter. I like understated beauty and glitter makes me itch. Raising middle child is a challenge. 


 
 
Picture
    Yesterday I was sitting on our front patio talking to middle child. A group of kids walked by and she got very sad and quiet. It took her a bit, but finally she told me what the problem was. "I want a group of friends like that, but everyone just leaves me out of everything," she told me, "my cats are my only friends, but they can't talk."  
     I told her, "That isn't true at all, I am your best friend and I always will be." 
     She replied, "It isn't the same, mom. You have to be my mom, not my friend." She is right, and I didn't have a response. I wanted to cry, as my heart broke for her. 
     As a parent, I want to fix everything. I want to make everything better by putting a band -aid on it and giving it a quick kiss. Unfortunately, middle child is reaching the age that her problems won't be fixed so easily. 


 
 
Picture
     Middle child repeats things. Not just once, but many, many times a day. To the point it would drive the sanest human mad in a matter of minutes. If I wasn't her mom, I don't think I could cope. Instead, I take a deep breath and I answer her same question for the fourteenth time by ten in the morning. I smile to myself, and I realize I am lucky to have such an amazing and intelligent little being in my life. 


 
 
Picture
     We have three kiddos and each one is a beautiful, individual spirit. They each have their own unique traits and quirks. They each also have their own diagnoses. 
     Oldest child was the most loving and happy baby you could ever imagine. He would be patient and play with Lego blocks while I cleaned the house. As he grew, he would do crafts and read endlessly. Somewhere around his fourth grade year, many things changed. Oldest had been a straight A student, his grades began to plummet. His attitude took a negative turn. The little boy who had previously been so friendly and outgoing turned mean and angry. I assumed it was part of him growing up.


 
 
Picture
     It is road trip season again. This means, if you have more than one child and you are driving more than ten feet down the road, you will hear fighting in the car. Siblings tend to find anything to pick on each other about. The husband and I can vouch for this first hand. We have also found an amazing way to combat it.


 
 
Picture
     When middle child was born, I knew she was different than my older child. He had been easy from his first day on the earth. He never cried, he always held my hand, and he always wanted to cuddle. Middle child was different. From the time she was a baby, she never wanted to be near me. I would feed her, and she would scream to be put down when she was full. I would sit next to her on the floor, so she could see me, but I would not touch her. As she grew, it did not get better. Middle child never wanted hugs, and would never give kisses. Even today, she will only offer the top of her head if someone wishes to give her a kiss. I couldn't take her in public all the time, too many things would set off her fits of screaming. Once a fit started, she would claw at her face and bite herself. I would go to bed at night crying because I had no idea what I was doing so wrong. I couldn't turn on a fan in the house, it would make her scream. Any flying bug would cause her to take a fit. Things I couldn't predict would send middle child into a rage.