I believe in birth order. There are exceptions to every rule. But not in this family. I love each one of my kids - each one is so unique, amazing, hilarious, frustrating, and each one mentors me in equally unique ways.
For example, my oldest. He may be older than his twin sister by one minute, but he's the oldest in every way. We went on a 'date' last night. He was a consummate gentleman. He held my hand. He sat up straight. He conversed. He thanked me for the evening. At least 272 more times today, even. He is truly a joy. He reads the Bible - every day. How many mornings have I looked at the clock and thought, "I should get up and give my first fruits to God. *snore*" I know. That's a very sad confession. But I don't sleep through the night and when I can get a few more winks, for right now, I do. I'm trying to change. It is on my list of things to change about my life. Believe me. My son? Every morning he wakes up and reads his Bible. He is seven. I could learn a lot from him. I do, actually.
Last week, my middle child was giving me some trouble. I don't mean to portray that he is a trouble maker or the younger brother, the one who likes to stir up the pot. I don't want to portray him in that manner because I want him to know that he is a really good kid. And I want him to act like it. Even though he's, you know, the middle child. But last week, WOW. Choice making was quite poor. I called my husband in tears after a trip to Michael's to buy beads for the Princess Party. As Pookie and I perused the bead section unawares, an employee from down the aisle and several more aisles away, actually, yelled, "Why are you hitting that baby?" My eyes darted up. She was looking our way. My head spun in the direction of her gaze behind me. Toward the cart where Sashi sat. And her big brother stood in the back of the cart. Behind her. Hand paused in mid-strike with her head as the obvious target of his attack. Humiliated, infuriated. I left in tears.
The next day, we were purchasing balloons for the party. But they weren't ready yet, so the kids and I waited in the floral department as the employees filled my order. The boys were shopping the musical cards - and sort of driving me crazy with the various bits of 50s and 80s music blaring in my ears from nearby. I sent them further into the store with their cards so I wouldn't have to hear quite so many songs blending disharmoniously. Sashi insisted on carrying around a GIANT yellow lab stuffed animal and spinning around in circles with it. I feared his tail would end the life of a beautiful display of glassware sitting near us. I was intent on catching the falling breakables. But when I heard that inevitable CRASH, it didn't originate near the tail of a stuffed dog. It came from the curiosity of a 5 year-old wanting to smell a candle and not realizing the top didn't attach to the bottom. A decorative candle that cost $20. Mortified, I insisted the store charge me. "Accidents happen," crooned the store clerk. I made no eye contact. I left as soon as the last molecules of helium hit the inside of that one remaining pink balloon. I quietly but fiercely verbalized all the horrors Meiners would soon experience as we headed to the van.
This week, while shopping at Target for some things for Pookie's room, I set my Icee Mocha on an opening on the shelf below the lamps. The first lamp in the top shelf display appeared slightly bent, so I nonchalantly set it aside and stuck my hand up towards the pristine second lamp. It tetered. The feathery shade toppled, striking a miniature dress horn that immediately fell towards my forgotten coffee cup. The cup splashed as it fell. It splashed onto the plastic cover of a shabby chic bedspread. It splashed onto an exposed pink chenille bedspread. It splashed onto the floor. Wonderfully chocolatey bits of melted iced coffee goodness spread all over the concrete and tile. Other items were hit with the cascading droplets. But I didn't see them. All I saw was a price tag. The shabby chic chenille bedspread? Cost $112.
I think a little bad luck, a sweet little boy, and a very big God taught me a valuable lesson.