Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Post-Thanksgiving Gratitude

The turkey is barely digesting in my stomach before the season of Christmas is thrust upon me. I, for one, personally love Thanksgiving. I love the parade. I love the cooking. I love the table with the family gathered around. I love leftover turkey dipped in Miracle Whip.

but I digress...

As I am decorating my home in stages for Christmas (because doing it all in one shot means I have hours of uninterrupted time to spend decking the halls. I assure you I have no time to deck all the halls at once!) I came across this letter my almost 12 year old son sent to us in the mail a few weeks ago. As a class assignment his teacher instructed the students to write a letter of thanks. It was - initially - quite a nice surprise.

Allow me to share it with you:

11-16-11Dear Mom and Dad,I want to thank you for all the things you have done. You have done a lot. You give me food on the table. You let me play sports. You give me help whenever I need it. If I get sick then you care for me. You never forget about me if I need a ride or if I want more food. I love you mom and dad and I will never forget what you have done for me.Love, Er

Sweet, huh?

A little pathetic? Yep!

Er tends to suffer from middle child syndrome. Can you pick that up from the letter? He's right smack dab in the middle of the Sikorski lineup.. there are 2 siblings above him and twin siblings below him. At 11 1/2 years of age he doesn't know if he wants to play with toys or be with the grownups. It's no doubt a tough stage. And I feel bad for him. On top of that he's hypersensitive. I mean, this is the child who clung to my leg for the first 5 years of his life (I never sat through a complete church service from 2000-2005 'cause of this kid! The nursery was our second home!)

If he doesn't get the same amount of food as the other kids (and no one counts the pile of pancakes as closely as Er) or if you are a nanosecond late picking him up he automatically thinks he's been abandoned.

In a family our size it's a bit of a jump-in-or-get-left-out game plan. Unfortunately he often feels left out. The funny thing about middle children is that in reality they probably don't get any more or any less than any other family member and yet they obsess about focusing on any minor discrepancies.

So how's a mother of a Tribe like mine to move forward? Well, I try to give Er the time he needs; the kind word and physical hugs that he likes so much. But I'm starting to think I should serve him first in the buffet line that forms in my kitchen 3 to 5 times a day. Maybe if I can dish out his portion first he'll continue to -at least- have something to be thankful about!

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