I think Chandler is suffering from Middle-child syndrome. I don’t think it’s terminal, but it may seem like it to him. I know what causes it, and probably suffered from it a bit growing up myself because I was in the middle too, but I don’t seem to remember, so it must not have been too traumatizing.
But Austin being older, has bigger responsibilities and he is going through everything FIRST, so it would seem he gets more attention. And usually, the boys do sports TOGETHER at the same time, different leagues, but since Austin has started football….it has consumed our lives. We eat, breathe, sleep football right now and not because I particularly WANT to, it just seems to be the season for it in our lives. We made the decision to make sure our kids are active and make sure they have opportunities, and now it’s coming back to bite me in the butt. So in this season of football, Austin is the one that is getting the attention.
And I know it hurts Chandler. He doesn’t ever say a thing, but I see that look on his face sometimes and my heart breaks. So Mike and I have been making a conscious effort to do things with JUST him, to make him feel special.
So tonight I took Austin to practice, Chandler asks to sit in the front next to me and we head out. On the radio comes the song that Mike says reminds him of Chandler and without saying anything, I reach over to him and grab his hand.
Just that little simple gesture. We both never took our eyes off the road, but just sat holding hands, just the 2 of us. No words were exchanged; they didn’t have to be. I was reassured of his love, and he was reassured of mine. The song ended and I thought he would let go, but he intentionally squeezed just a little harder, afraid I’d let go of his.
And so we sat.
Sometimes I wish God was a physical person I could sit down with. I could chat with over a nice salad at lunch. I could focus my physical eyes on and read the expressions on His face. I could hear His audible voice.
I could reach across the seat and hold His hand. I could squeeze His hand to make sure He doesn’t let go of me. Sometimes I need and want that physical reassurance. Life is hard with decisions that are not easy. Life goes too fast sometimes and I feel lost in the shuffle. I am afraid. I’m afraid of doing the wrong thing with GOOD intentions. I’m afraid of being lost in the mix of people and jobs and STUFF.
And so I have faith. I have faith that He IS there. Sometimes I even picture His physical body. Times when I’m in my living room alone with a fervent prayer, one of those prayers that shakes your body, brings tears to your eyes, I picture His face. Not one of those expressionless Jesus’ you see in Sunday schools, but one with LIFE and character. The other night when I was alone in the bed and praying outloud, I pictured Him lying on the other side of Brooklyn where Mike normally would be.
So I know I’m not alone. I won’t get lost because He is with me. I may not be able to reach across the seat and squeeze His hand, but I know He’s there. I FEEL Him….
Funny how reassurance for Chandler, turned out to reassure me….I love that son of mine….