Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A Letter to my Eternally Optimistic Child

Dear Middle Child, 

I don’t know why you are such an optimist, but please, please don’t ever change. No matter what the problem, spilled milk, skinned knee, rainy day, doesn’t matter, your response is always “That otay.”
You shrug your shoulders and move on. 

I love that you are my eternal optimist. I love that you don’t dwell on the negative. I try to be like that, but it is a struggle every day. I need to make the choice to turn off my pessimistic, “the world is going to end” attitude and tell myself, everything will be okay. Some days it is easier to make that choice than others. 

Today, you have bug bites covering your face. I kiss them and say, “I’m sorry those bugs keep biting you, buddy.”

“It’s otay, Mama,” you brush away my kisses and my sorrys. 

We have to go to the dentist later. I know you are nervous. You have 3 cavities. Which of course, I feel like a horrible mother because you have them, even though the dentist assured me that your teeth are naturally more cavernous than others. But that’s me, the pessimist.

“My teeth feel fine, I fink I don’t need to go to the denis,” you tell me. 

How do I explain to a 4 year old what cavities are and why they need to be filled, even though your teeth will fall out someday. How do I explain that it might hurt a little or at least feel a little uncomfortable and that it might be a little scary, but sometimes in life you have to do stuff that hurts to keep things from really hurting later on?

I don’t know, but I do know if anyone can get through this, it’s you, my middle one. My little guy who bumps his head, cries and gets a hug and kiss and then in less than a minute, pushes me away and insists, “Me otay now.”

When we get to the dentist, you nervously ask me, “Will you sit next to me?”

“I’ll be right here the whole time, I promise.”

In no time you are all finished and as the dentist and her assistant gush about what an awesome job you did, how you are such a big boy, you smile your giant smile and your face illuminates with pride. 

You are eager to get home and show your dad your prize you got to pick, a little, blue plastic camera with tiny pictures of animals inside of it. 

As I buckle you into your car seat that I just moved to the middle seat in the first row of the van earlier that day, I ask you, “Do you like your seat here?” 

“Yeah!” you scream, kicking your legs and waving your arms in excitement. “I’m the middle one! I love being in the middle!”

I love you being in the middle too, buddy. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that it is a bad thing, or not something to love. Don’t ever let pessimists sway you from your easy going outlook on life, not even a “trying to reform” pessimist like your mother.


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  1. Aw, what a great letter and although I am the oldest and only have two, so might not be the best to relate, but still I couldn't help smiling at how much your middle child is truly just such a happy go lucky kid ;)

  2. That's so sweet. Those are the kinds of qualities you want your kids to carry with them all through life!

  3. Your son is adorable. He sounds easy-going and wise. They will serve him well in life.