Friday, March 14, 2008
The Middle Child
(This gift on the right, the "Martian Matter Alien maker" is what Graham bought with $ sent from New Zealand by Dru & Melissa. It's the big hit with all the boys-imagine that...aliens and goo! Thanks guys!)
This month is unofficially dedicated to Graham at our house, for several reasons. First, yesterday was his eight birthday, which is a big deal, kind of an emergence into becoming a "big" kid or something. This leads to the second reason, which is his upcoming baptism on the 29th, which (at our house) will actually be a bigger deal than the birthday. His birthday was a quiet affair this year, primarily due to Ryan and my hectic schedules. Also, I rotate years for friend parties and this is my year off. So we had a little family celebration after dinner consisting of a store bought cake brought by Grandma (no pirate ships, bugs, horses, or Thomas the tank cakes this year :) and Graham opening and playing with his gifts. Surprisingly Ethan played a large part in Graham's excitement yesterday. Ethan decided several days ago that he wanted to get a gift for Graham. When he suggested a Wii game to me I said, "oh honey, those are about $50." "Oh" he said and settled on a $20 gameboy game (which I think is a lot of money, especially when you're ten!) I think if he'd had $50 he would have bought one for him! Then he went through his prized Pokemon card collection and picked out a number of Graham's favorite collectible cards, made a special envelope for them out of paper, and wrapped it all together with the game. He proceeded to make a card for Graham, which probably took an hour or more. Ok, where is my real son? Not that Ethan isn't capable of generosity, but I don't know that I've ever seen it to this degree. This kind of thoughtfulness wouldn't surprise me if it came from Graham, who is so inherently tenderhearted and sweet. Graham was the most thrilled with Ethan's gifts and as the old adage goes I think that the thought meant more than the actual gifts.
Graham, like my niece Tess, is the typical middle child in that he is easygoing, easy to please, and because of those things, easy to give less attention to sometimes. I've been thinking about this a lot lately since I read about a study just published at BYU stating that children following the first get significantly less attention from their parents than first children do. In fact the study said that subsequent children get 3,000 hours less personal attention from parents between the ages of 4 and 13. 3,000 HOURS!?! That is 75 weeks (or nearly a year and a half) of full time work for many people! It has been weighing on my mind and I have to think that Graham, due to his good nature and good behavior, ironically, probably does get less attention than he deserves at our house. He is a model student at school, does what I ask, and is loved by everyone. So this is the last reason that March 2008 is unofficially dedicated to Graham, so that hopefully we can appreciate and celebrate what a great blessing he is to us, and how happy we are that he's ours! He is loved!
Posted by Leslie at 8:55 AM