According to my mother, all that's really wrong in the world today is that not enough families have three or more children. Because, she says, Number Three is where the magic starts. Where parents stop fretting about developmental milestones and discipline strategies and inadequacies and start just enjoying each child.
My golden boy Levi does a fine job proving her point. Today he turns eight, and for us it's been eight years of happiness and enjoyment. Levi has taken both the doting and the torment of his older siblings and leveraged them into confidence, strength, and compassion.
Levi forfeited his biannual friends party so he could instead take the family to Golden Corral for dinner. Do they have these where you live? They're heaven for kids. Gleaming banks of meat and fries and potatoes. Nary a tofu cube in the whole place. And a dessert bar with soft-serve ice cream, sprinkles, and gummy bears.
There's some metaphor there on the buffet line. Kids taking turns serving up small helpings of whatever they fancy. Then homing in on their special favorites. Plenty of everything they need. Plus plenty of the trimmings. While Mom and Dad watch the piles of greasy dishes and soiled napkins mount higher.
I'm very sad to think of Levi growing out of his boy years. But I bet there will be plenty to love about Levi in his next round at the buffet line.