You were everything the others were not, starting with "Planned."
You were small-ish, quiet, and suffered my return to the hospital AFTER we came home with the sort of calmness I can't attribute to your older sibling.
As you grew into your personality, it became clear, you were, kinda, "me."
You know they say "may you be blessed with a child just like you..." And I was.
You are pretty, independent--- pretty damn indepedent -- in a way that I recall I was, once freed from high school.
You are smart in ways that I think surprise even you at times. I remember that feeling.
You are headed for great things too, my darling Middle. In ways I never was. But you know they also say: you want more for your kids than you had, more happines, more achievement, more love--all of it--just MORE.
These coming weeks of adjustment to life in the Big City and as full time engineering student will be stressful. But if anyone can take that mix of complexity and turn it into positive, it's you.
Here is the thing that we indepdent types sometimes forget that I will impart, in my typical, public way to you, dear Middle: Don't ever discount that you sometimes will need help. You will need advice. You might even need help with some homework (There is an "engineer on staff" here at the Crowe's Nest). You might need a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen. I know you don't THINK you will--I never thought that either. But you will. And the more you open yourself up to those around who want you to succeed SO BADLY we can taste it, the better off you will be.
I like to brag (at times) about being "the opposite of a helicopter" when it comes to (came to) my parenting style. I wasn't the Tiger Mom (hardly). I was sort of...the golden retriever mom I guess. But that doesn't always work 'cause sometimes we get caught napping when the burgler creeps into the house. I know I was not the mom you needed me to be especially during my ill-advised detour away from focus on those who loved and needed me and on those who used me.
But you know what? I'll be damned if, despite it all, you have come out on top, ready to take another step up to even higher heights.
Just remember, sweet Middle, we are here for you and we're kinda like the trampoline you can fall back onto at times, when you need another boost.
Love you more than any other (middle child named Crowe). You are my hero.
P.s. Way to nail the "big sister thing" too!