02 December 2009

Equal Time

OK - so, while perusing our thousands of photos and our many, many videos (all taken from different sources - phones, HD cameras, old videotape cameras, etc. - all good for different reasons - I like to have a physical piece of tape in addition to the burned CD / DVD - just my preference - besides our HD camera is horrible in low light while the old-fashioned camera is great - very clear, but... I WAY digress....)...I happened upon a series of videos in which I am filming our baby (OK - now for clarity - and I don't know why I didn't do this before - my kids names are - Olivia, 13 - Enzo, 5 - Milo, 4 today!!! - and Lilliana, 2) and.... poor 2 1/2 yr. old Milo is trying to get my attention. This happened over and over in - like I said - a series of videos, and.... well, I just felt so bad. I mean, this sweet little guy was trying to show me what he could do, and I was just so wrapped up in capturing the, at the time, infant's first swinging experience, first word, first real food, etc. And... I think I noticed that I missed some precious footage - wee little Milo pushing his baby sister in the swing or telling a silly story that, I'm sure, at the time, was just more background noise in my crazy day.

I started thinking (for me - make that over-thinking), and I just felt worse and worse. I mean - Olivia is a lot older than the others, so... we have SO many photos, videos, etc. of JUST her - all framed - all over the house. We have very special vacations that just SHE went on. She got the benefit of some intense one on one activities - very expensive camps and schools, etc. Enzo was next, and... as the first boy, he enjoyed a HUGE welcome - baby shower, giant first birthday celebration, lots of clamoring around him for a look (Olivia's friends at the time - he was the first baby to be born to anyone in her class for a few years), a big Godfather-style baptism celebration, a family trip to Paris, etc. Then Milo came along, and he was our sweet NICU baby - enduring surgeries and other traumas before he was even a week old (he was born with a - turns out - minor kidney issue). We had all the boy baby stuff so no shopping for him (he was born little more than a year after Enzo) - my father died when Milo was only two months old, so, subsequently, his baptism was lowkey (I was so distracted, still grieving, etc. that he is the only one without a formal photo in the antique baptism gown all the kids wear) - my brother chose Milo's first birthday for his quickie courthouse wedding, so none of my family attended, I got pregnant with Lilliana right after his first birthday, etc. And... of course, as a girl, we had to "pink up" her room - get baby girl stuff - my family had recovered, in part, from my father passing so my Mom even came to stay for a while. I guess... in my long-winded way.... I'm trying to say that Milo is the victim of extreme "middle child syndrome". Add to that the fact that he is the volatile one - the tough one.

OH - man - I just don't know where this is going. It's funny, too. Milo is probably the most like me - volatile, unpredictable (read: can be the sweetest of all - very affectionate), intense - always climbing, doing flips and gymnastics - known as difficult or a trouble-maker. I really do have a rapport with him - an empathy - total recognition of myself in him. So - why do I feel like he gets neglected? Maybe because I was the one left to my own devices as a kid (self-sufficient people often are)???? Anyway - my hubby, Marcello ('bout time you learned his name too :-) went to the trouble to show me ALL the really funny videos, etc. that we do have of Milo. And, truthfully, we do have some great, unique photos too. I mean, he's a beautiful child. He reminded me that Milo is my buddy - the one who spends the most time with me - does Mommy and Me gymnastics, etc. So... I feel better....

Yesterday was Milo's day at preschool to bring in his birthday treat. Again, for a few years now, he's watched big brother, Enzo, come home with the highly coveted birthday crown, and... as is his way, just watched happily and silently and patiently waited his turn. This was his first year for the crown, and... he had to go home early with an ear infection - his class ate the sprinkle-coated donuts he brought without him. I guess he'll be snack helper on Thurs. I brought the crown home for him to wear today (on the actual big day :-). I stayed up wrapping presents, taping his favorite candy canes to the packages, getting big sis to make him a card, will go to Trader Joe's to get him his favorite yummy miniature vanilla cupcakes for some candles - he is really a low maintenance kid, for the most part :-), etc. We may even bite the bullet and take him to Chuck E Cheese (if he's feeling up to it). Insert sigh here....

Lesson for today? Or -rather - for me as I ponder this "it is what it is" birth order situation.... I guess, once again, cherish ALL your moments with all your loved ones. It is trite, but... it is true :-).

The photo is of my lovely boy last year on an Edgewood playground. Happy b-day, Milo!

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