It is not easy being Number 4’s brother or sister.
She is fearless and talented and creative and proactive and innovative and beautiful and intelligent.
She’s one of those kids who pretty much has it all.
Number 3 is struggling with this a little bit.
He’s no slouch himself.
But he doesn’t have the confidence that Number 4 does.
He’s anxious and cautious and hesitant in many areas of his life.
And while I don’t compare him to Number 4, he does.
He’s never been the student that Number 4 is.
Number 4 is a voracious reader, is a year younger but on a higher reading level at school than Number 3, and she has a photographic memory for both things that she hears and things that she reads.
The other day we were sitting in the kitchen eating lunch when Number 4 randomly blurted out,
“Birds have different digestive systems than humans do. They don’t have to chew their food like we do. They have these things like rocks in their…”
Number 3 just looked at her.
“Ugh. Number 4… you are so smart. How do you know these things?” he said as he dropped his forehead into his hands.
“From reading books,” she answered matter-of-factly.
Number 3 has accepted that the school stuff just comes more easily to Number 4 than to him, but I know he is envious.
He still had swimming though.
Until about 2 weeks ago.
He used to easily kick Number 4’s ass in the pool, but just recently, she kicked his.
In a couple of different events.
It was a pretty big blow to his self esteem.
That was always an area where he was better than her.
And now she had managed to take that from him too.
About two weeks ago, I wrote this post.
The one where Number 3 made a really good catch in the outfield.
The catch that his confidence needed.
And while it was a great catch, it wasn’t the game winning catch.
That was the catch that he wanted.
Since that post a couple weeks ago, and the ass whooping in the pool from Number 4 and her verbatim regurgitation of the intricacies of a bird’s digestive system, the memory of that catch has faded a little for Number 3.
On Thursday he had a game.
The league he’s in plays 6 inning games.
We were the home team, we were winning, and there were two outs.
One more out and the game would be over.
Our team is first in the league, but even still, there have been a couple games where the boys were winning with 2 out in the bottom of the last inning, and then everything went to hell on a two out rally.
So there is a certain level of breath holding and finger crossing until that last out.
I watched, held my breath, and crossed my fingers as the pitcher threw the ball.
The kid at bat connected and smacked a fly ball.
Out to left field.
Out to Number 3.
Now I was really holding my breath.
And crossing more than just my fingers.
But I didn’t need any of those superstitious rituals.
My boy caught that ball with ease and confidence and authority.
And that was it.
The game was over.
Number 3 made the game winning catch.
He sprinted off the field with the rest of the team.
And a big smile on his face.
“MOM! I did it! I made the game winning catch!” he told me as he walked toward me.
Yes, that catch may have officially won the game.
But it also won much much more for Number 3.
“How did that feel?” I asked him.
He looked at me, and he said,
“Mommy… it felt good. It felt really good.”
And those are the parenting moments that last forever.
I didn’t get a picture of the catch, but the smile on his face is a memory that I will never forget.
And I hope it’s one he never does either.
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