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Dear Christian

Hey there, munchkin,

Happy birthday, little dude! Did you get my present? I hope that you use it for good--like planning adventures--and not evil--like using the sharp corners to jab your siblings.

Now that you’re old enough, Papa and I would like to officially welcome you to the Middle Child Club. We have a call the third Wednesday of every month where we talk about all the grudges we’re silently holding and brainstorm ways we can be more stubborn. Please come prepared with a list of feelings that you would like to not discuss.

Being a middle child isn’t all bad. I’ve been stubborn and suspicious my entire life and it’s gotten me out of a fair number of scrapes (we won’t talk about how many it's actually gotten me into it; the ratio is irrelevant, all that matters is that there is statistical evidence that it has kept me out of trouble at least a handful of times).

Your mom says you’re developing a bit of an attitude which, I’ll probably get in trouble for saying this, isn’t the WORST thing in the world, it means that you haven’t learned when to keep your mouth shut. And that’s okay. Sometimes you’ve gotta speak your mind. Just be sure that, when you do speak up, what you say comes from a good place. If you’re not sure what that looks like--the difference between saying something that’s controversial and standing up for what’s right--you’ve got two real good parents who know a thing or two about being good humans.

Find something to get excited about. Be passionate, unapologetically so. Dinosaurs or sharks or, I guess, baseball, if that’s what floats your boat. Don’t let anyone ever make you feel small or dumb for getting excited about things. Don’t ever make anyone feel small or dumb for getting excited about things; just because you don’t understand it doesn’t mean it’s not cool or special.

I spent a lot of time as a kid worrying about where I fit in. I spend a lot of time as an adult worrying about where I fit in. Maybe that comes from being a middle child. If you feel the same, or even if you don’t, you’ve always got a spot in the Middle Child Club.

You can grow up to do and be anything that you want, as long as you’re kind, I’ll be so very proud of you.

I love you to the moon and back, you little hoodlum.




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