I hate that you are my “middle child.” Technically, you aren’t. You have a big brother who is almost 2 years older. And you have a twin brother. Although there are 3 of you, there shouldn’t be a middle child. But for our family, I think it’s you.
Your big brother has a learning disability. He needs extra academic support. He gets that help in the form of a resource specialist, a speech therapist and a tutor.
Your twin brother has autism. He needs additional support. He gets that help in the form of an inclusion teacher, an intervention specialist, a speech therapist, and a few behavioral interventionists.
But you….you don’t need any additional support. You don’t have an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) like your brothers do. You don’t have additional challenges. You’re fine.
After having you attend a school with your big brother for the last 3 years, I decided it was time for both of you to join you twin brother at his school. I kept you all at separate schools because I really felt that was what best for all of you. But we reached a point and I have come to realize that you all need to be together at this one school.
By making this change, I know that I have taken you away from your best friend, the school that you love, the friends that you have fun with, the teachers who adore you. I know you are happy at that school. And when the time came for me to tell you that you were changing schools, you expressed your disappointment but maturely and graciously accepted the change. You didn’t throw a tantrum. You didn’t cry. You didn’t even pout. You accepted this decision so perfectly. And I just so appreciated this from you.
Because I’ve given so much to your brothers all these years, I wanted to throw you a bone. I thought, the least I could do was get you to be in the same class as your twin brother. I know you can be really shy sometimes. And if your twin brother was there in your class with you, you wouldn’t be alone. I wanted to give this to you.
But after discussions with your twin’s teachers and specialists, we felt it would be best that you were not in the same class. Your twin has done so well on his own and everyone was concerned that having you in the class with him could change all the great progress he has made all these years. I understood. And I agreed with them.
It breaks my heart that I couldn’t give this to you. You never ask for anything. You don’t need anything. And I’ve given so much to your brothers and I really wanted to give you this one thing. And part of my feels like I’ve failed you because I couldn’t do this.
I know you’ll be okay. You always are. I don’t like that you couldn’t rely on me this time. I don’t like that I have to rely on you and your strength to be able to handle this new situation I’m forcing on you.
I’m sorry that you have become the middle child. The one sort of lost in the shuffle.
But know that I love you just as much as your brothers. Know that even though you need less from me, I give you all I can. I will never lose you in the shuffle.
Thank you for being the strong 8 year old kid that you are. Know that you give so much to me. And know that you are the best middle child I could have ever hoped for.