Tween parenting looks very different in Middle Child than in The Boy. He clutched childhood in a death grip. This isn't Neverland, and there's no pixie dust to allow for flight. It's a fight against gravity the whole way. On the other hand, our girlie shoves younger days away while grasping for the growing independence and influence of peers that characterizes the teen years. She's less Peter Pan and more Wendy. The challenges are different, but the hormones and the needs for us to chase after them with the parental battle cry of, "I love you!" remains the same despite the vast differences in their approach to take off.
The struggle to push Evan from the proverbial nest has been ongoing, but one of these days he will fly. (Even if the desire to rise up comes only in response to freefall, we'll have no Lost Boys here.) Meanwhile, his sister flaps frantically trying to reach a soaring altitude. It wears her out, and is tiring to watch. Still, the Mister and I constantly renew our attitudes from eye rolling to cheer these fledgling attempts as our lovies attempt (or are pushed) toward winging their way into the days when they will put aside their childish things.
The littlest one finds all the hormone hilarious. Free from parental dictates, she can indulge in plenty of eye rolling. Erin brings much needed comic relief to our days of parenting through her siblings' Difficult Ages because her own tween days remain hidden in the future for the moment. It will be interesting to see how our clowning baby approaches the runway. Based on experience, she will likely skip the usual "spread your wings" routine and opt to go over land, by water, or perhaps underground in her journey toward adulthood. Thankfully, we still have a year or two before that begins.