Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed. - Psalm 112-1b-2 (NAB)
Today is Number Two son's birthday. Our middle child is not your typical middle child! Born thirteen months and one day (I got to pick the date) after his brother, Number Two came into this world somewhat quietly. He weighed four ounces less then his brother, but he was an inch taller.
He was a strong baby. The nurses told me he was lifting his head to look around while he was in the bassinet in the nursery. I was sceptical until I saw him do it! If I held him on my shoulder to burp him, he would pick his head up and look around my hospital room. I never saw a baby that young do that!
When I brought him home, my husband and I braced ourselves. Number One son screamed the first six months of his life and we were afraid that was going to happen again. Number Two was so quiet, I left him in his baby seat in one of the bedrooms and while I was doing the dishes, I realized I didn't know where he was! I ran back to all the rooms I had been in and he was sitting there looking around, waiting for someone to get him!
Most middle kids do things to get attention because they're usually overlooked. Number Two's early years were somewhat like that, but as the years went on he calmed down considerably. My husband and I were so proud of him when in high school he received a Student of the Month Award in math. The teacher thought our son was the best boy in the school!
But most of my memories of Number Two correspond to his compassion for others. Even when he was little he had a strong bond with his sister and the two still often conspire against a clueless oldest brother.
Several years ago, I fell in a parking lot and broke a bone in my foot. Number Two had raced to meet me, but I was already in the ambulance headed for the hospital. When I got there I started getting scared. The injury was relatively minor, but being in a hospital hallway on a gurney by myself was unsettling. Suddenly, there was Number Two. He had called in to work and told them he would be late and why. He stayed for as long as he could. We chatted, but mostly he held my hand. Our roles were suddenly reversed.
One of Number Two's closest friend's lost his mother to cancer last year. The boys have known each other since they were three years old. At the funeral service, I happened to turn around and witnessed the two young men standing together and talking. They smiled tentatively at each other and gave a thumbs up sign. My eyes filled with tears. Their friendship was palpable.
Number Two has told me of his plans and dreams for the future and his fears if they don't come to light. Every time I look at him, I can see the plans being made. Not just Plan A, but B, C and probably D.
So Happy Birthday Number Two! And you know you're Number One in my heart! (Psst! Don't tell the other two!)