I was born a middling one, and middling I remain,She's my middling, as I am my mother's, as my mother was her mother's.
Medium dull and medium bright and middling pretty plain.
The pleasant consolation for such a middling fate
Is that one finds so many friends in the same middling state.
Such a middling. She has never asked for much; a piece of paper, an orange crayon, and a pair of scissors will occupy her for an hour. Her older sister could give courses on subtle attention-getting behavior (just wait till she's a teen!), but my middling doesn't need it.
I sat with her tonight until she fell asleep, at her request. She was not herself tonight, coping poorly with unanticipated challenges (like gravity). I figured she was tired, and put her to bed early. The footsteps I heard told me she didn't agree.
She didn't want to tell me why she was upset. She said, "I don't want to make you cry." And then she cried about Henry, about his cancer, about his impending demise and death. What can I tell her? My usual line of "It will all be better in the morning" didn't cut it. So I sat with her till she fell asleep.
The music coming from Henry's room was recently dug out of a drawer. It was the acoustic piano Christmas music that my husband and I played in the hospital room, just over seven years ago when my middling was born. In a very real sense, that was the last time she had our full attention. An older sister, a residency, a move, a baby brother, and then cancer. How can a middling compete?
She won't, I guess. That's not what middlings do.