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     Middle child is turning ten. She has been in this world for nearly a decade now and they have been ten of the best years of my life. I love that little girl more than anyone can possibly imagine. She is my world, as all of my children are. So when middle comes home from school crying because kids make fun of her or abandon her, it breaks my heart. As a parent, you talk your child through it and wait for things to pass, but with middle it doesn't go away. All summer she has been dreading this year. She knows that kids can tell she is different now. She knows she is different. I try to tell her that different isn't bad, it is beautiful and wonderful. But when you are ten, you don't want to stick out, all you want to do is fit in.


 
 
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    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. 


 
 
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     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.


 
 
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     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.


 
 
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     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.