I’m pretty confident there’s one in every family. The “easy one.” The one who almost always follows the rules, does what is asked of him (usually the first time!), and doesn’t demand your attention at every waking moment of the day.
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While our house is in a constant state of activity and noise and movement, there is one who is the calm in this crazy family storm. He helps when we ask him to, he does his homework without our nagging, and he is generally the one not in trouble.
Sometimes at night, I catch myself thinking back on the day and realizing how much time and effort the other boys required of me.
One is still learning the rules of being a human (and can’t pour his own milk without sharing half of it with the floor), so of course he needs my eyes and ears (and paper towels).
One is a constant ball of energy, humor, and minor catastrophes, so yea, he needs monitoring if we want our house in one piece at the end of each day.
And one is working through his ADD and a great annoyance of little brothers who touch all his things way too often, so he needs lots of gentle reminders to stay on task and to take a deep breath when those little brothers aggravate him.
And then there’s the “easy one.” Just today I reminded him to check his backpack for the novel he’s reading for class (he already had it), and to make sure he grabbed baseball pants for practice after school (they were already in his hand), and to see if he needed help finishing the History essay he was working on late last night (he got up early and finished it this morning). But, those reminders were mostly for my mommy conscience because I knew he had everything covered.
Our “easy one” is not perfect. He’s still hitting bumps in the road every day, as we all have done (and are still doing) our whole life, but he’s the one who seems to need the least amount of “parenting.” I think it’s just his personality, and maybe his view of this family from the quiet seats. Maybe he knows we need an “easy one” to make it through without completely losing our minds.
But there are times I feel the weight of guilt pressing down on me … when I wonder if he feels a little forgotten or secluded because his brothers are receiving so much of our daily attention. I wonder if he’s ever frustrated by these loud, boisterous people consuming his parents’ time and energy.
Or is he kind of loving being able to observe the growing pains of the family without being the one who’s causing them? Maybe he’s actually in the best position and doesn’t want anything to change.
I think we might need to carve out time for a little chat. Just to see what he’s feeling, and to reassure him he’s anything but forgotten.
Make sure to love (and hug your “easy one”) a little more.
This post first appeared on 39ish Life.
Dana is the content creator and founder of 39ishlife.com. She lives in Florida with her husband and four sons. When she’s not running someone to baseball, she is writing, editing, and avoiding the sink of dirty dishes. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.