Monday, January 28, 2013

Middle Child Syndrome

Some months back when Uncle Eddie mentioned that I needed to pay more attention to Joseph, my middle child, I was taken back. I thought I was doing pretty well as a mother of three. Although outwardly I nodded in seeming agreement, inwardly I was quite sure Joseph was on par with the other two.

“Normally, the sign that the middle child had been neglected was through him misbehaving!” He said. At that point, I realised that Joseph had been tough to handle. He quite often throws tantrums at me and not at his father, which I thought it was a boy thing! When he doesn't get his way, he will become painfully rude to me. “ Are these symptoms?” I wondered. “Lord, please help me to re-connect with Joseph again.” I prayed.

A few weeks later, I found the situation turning from bad to worse. If Uncle Eddie had not warn me about middle child syndrome, I would have put this down to a difficult phase that Joe is undergoing, not unlike the terrible twos, except that this is the annoying eights!

One night, just when I thought that I was going through another mundane bible reading, which Joe would not be paying attention most times, I was in for a treat. The bible reading started with the arrival of Jesus as a newborn baby. God was so excited with baby Jesus that He just couldn't wait to share the news with His people. However, as the birthplace was so remote, how was He going to broadcast the news without drawing unnecessary attention?  He used the stars to lead the wise men to the manger! What ingenuity!

“Joe, could you sense that God was really ecstatic about baby Jesus? In fact, when you were born, both daddy & mummy were overjoyed! Our happiness was shared by your grandparents who came to visit soon after you were born!” I exclaimed, much to my own astonishment, as I know that this could only be divine inspiration! Normally, I would have just read the bible passage with little to add (after a days’ work and looking after prissy, I was close to dozing off myself during bible reading!).

Immediately, Joe’s face lit-up in a manner that I have never seen before! He was surprised that his family was celebrating his birth! “Yes, both daddy & mummy love you very much.” I added. “Really?” he asked. At that instant, I felt that God had ministered to both of us and more importantly; He had bridged the gap between Joe and me.

Joseph restoring joy to a friend

We were at a family retreat at Cameron Highlands. Children were having a fun time playing frisbees when one child, Ashton, threw the frisbee...