It took two and a half years but last week the towel bar in our powder room fell out of the wall. Poor installation? Shotty workmanship on the part of the builder?
It was strudy enough to withstand even the heaviest of towels, but not the weight of a Monkey.
Which Monkey, you ask?
This Monkey...the Monkey in the Middle.
From the day he was born I could have told you he'd be the one to test the towel bar. It's just his style. Ingrained into the very molecular structure of his DNA. He is "that kid."
As a baby he didn't hand out smiles like the other Monkey's, you had to work for his affection. He would stare at you stoically, dead pan look on his cherebic little face.
If you could read his thoughts you would imagine them saying, "look at this clown...he thinks I'm gonna give him a smile. Not a chance, sucker."
But for me he would always smile. Still does. He is my snuggle-puppy, my little lovey-button.
He looked at me with hazel eyes as big as dinner plates. Fringed with long, dark lashes, a dusting of tiny freckles gently sprinkled across his the bridge of his nose. "Do you think I'm going to get promoted?" he asked me earnestly.
Where he had heard such a big word with such a big meaning is beyond me. For certain his big brother had never uttered those words - Monster Monkey never questioned for a moment that he would move on to the next grade, his only inquiry may have been, how fast?
But the Middle Monkey, he's a different breed of cat.
He's the one who will try anything once. And is likely to try it two or three times after that.
Voted in our family most likely to be in an up-side-down position, he is perpetual motion with a side of laughter. He hears everything but rarely listens. He is too busy trying to keep up with the Monster.
At five years old he was the lead off hitter for his baseball team. At that age Monster was only toddling around the T-ball league.
We try to explain this to the Middle Monkey. Explain that he isn't supposed to be as big, and fast as his older brother, but the sentiment is lost as he races to catch up.
He doesn't understand, can't comprehend how amazing he really is. He wants so badly to hit a homerun like his big brother, that he discounts how incredible it was that he hit a double.
He hangs his head and his shoulders sag in defeat. He sighs, "I wish I could ___f_i_l_l_in the_b_l_a_n_k __ like Monster."
I can feel his frustration. I want him to know how wonderful I think he is.
"We already have a Monster," I tell him, "we need you, to be you."
You, that will take any two inanimate objects and turn them into "fighting guys." Pieces of fruit, pens, the two parts of a seatbelt.
You, that was in no hurry to learn to sit up on your own because things were just as entertainng from the horizontal position.
You, that loves to sleep, any time, any where, as long as you have "Puppy." You still put yourself to bed when you deem it is time.
You, that make us laugh.
You, that make us proud.
You, that made me sure that I was supposed to be a Mom.
Not a day goes by that I am not thankful for my Monkey in the Middle. I absolutely adore you, Middle Monkey. I could not love you more.