This file includes Caregivers, middle child, second child, etc.
Also see the other files in the Children section.



Quotes


from The Prophet

(Kahil Gibran)

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself.

They come through you, not from you.
And though they are with you, they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.


The Middle Child

Even though you're not the oldest,
or the youngest, you see,
Being in the middle is a really neat place to be!
The middle of a sandwich
is the most important part,
And in the middle of your body,
you will find your heart.
The engine in the middle
is what runs a good machine;
And our family wouldn't be the same
without you in between.


Second Child Syndrome

If you have less photos of your younger child here are a couple of suggestions. Ask around to see if friends or relatives have photos you could copy. Crop some group shots so there are more photos of just the child.


I've Always Loved You Best

(Erma Bombeck wrote the original version of this in 1971 but there are several variations. Here are a couple of them.)

Dear First Born
I've always loved you best because you were our first miracle. You were the genesis of a marriage and the fulfillment of young love. You sustained us through the hamburger years, the first apartment, our first mode of transportation (1955 Feet), and the seven-inch TV we paid on for 36 months. You were new, had unused grandparents, and enough clothes for a set of triplets. You were the original model for a mom and dad who were trying to work the bugs out. You got the strained lamb, the open safety pins and three-hour naps. You were the beginning!

Dear Middle Born
I've always loved you the best because you drew a tough spot in the family and it made you stronger for it. You cried less, had more patience, wore faded hand-me-downs, and never in your life did anything first. But it only made you more special. You were the one we relaxed with, who helped us realize a dog could kiss you and you wouldn't get sick. You could cross a street by yourself long before you were old enough to get married. And you helped us understand the world wouldn't collapse if you went to bed with dirty feet. You were the child of our busy, ambitious years. Without you, we never could have survived the job changes and the tedium and routineness that is marriage.

To My Baby
I've always loved you best because while endings are generally sad, you are such a joy! You readily accepted the mild-stained bibs, the lower bunk, the cracked baseball bat, the baby book that had nothing written in it except a recipe for graham-cracker piecrust that someone had jammed between the pages. You are the one we held on to so tightly. You darken our hair, quicken our steps, square our shoulders, restore our vision, and give us a sense of humor that security, maturity, and durability can't provide. When you hairline takes on the shape of Lake Erie and your own children tower over you, you will still be our baby!


Order Matters

Oldest Child - I make the rules.
Middle Child - I'm the reason we have rules.
Youngest Child - The rules don't apply to me.


To My Children

My Firstborn
I've always loved you best because you were my first miracle. You were my hope . . . my dreams . . . the fulfillment of young love, the promise of my infinity. You were new . . . You had unused parents. You were an original. You sustained me through the fears I felt . . . He's so tiny . . . So Precious . . . Would I raise you right? Be there for you always? You were my little man who made me smile with the faces you formed and the voices you did. You showed me that I could raise such a tiny baby into the man you are today. I'm so proud and I know I brag too much . . . Can you blame me? You got the garage sale clothes, open pins and the endless "I Love You's". I've always loved you best.

My Middle Child
I've always loved you best because you drew the worst spot in the family and it made you stronger for it. You cried less . . . smiled always, had more patience . . . and never did anything first, but it only made you more special. You were the one I relaxed with, and realized an Angel still would kiss such a dirty face if you fell asleep without a bath. The world wouldn't come to an end if you got into the refrigerator and made a mess with the cottage cheese. You could cross the street by yourself long before you were old enough to drive . . . But how I still worry . . . You are the love of my life. Without you, I would never have learned to take one day at a time . . . be so free with my love and learn to treasure the loves of my life. I've always loved you best.

My Baby
I've always loved you best because endings are generally sad and you are such a joy. You've accepted sharing me with your brother and sister . . . saggy diapers . . . the cracked, second-hand toys. The baby book . . . never filled . . . there just wasn't time. You are the one I held on to so tightly, as you forever demanded for your freedom. You are the link with a past that gives me a reason for tomorrow. You make me so happy, love so much more freely . . . You make me wish for tomorrows forever and ever . . . When your hair turns the color of new fallen snow--you would still be my baby. I've always loved you best.

I'll love you all--forever and always
Mother


How Do I Love You?

(P. K. Hallinan)

How do I love you?
Let me count the ways.
I love you on your very best
and very worst of days.

I love to see you laughing
and dancing in the rain;
And even when you lose your shoes,
I love you just the same.

I love to hear you singing.
I love to see you smile.
I love the way you take each day
in your own unhurried style.

I'm happy when you're happy,
and I'm sorry when you're sad.
And even though it may not show,
I love you when you're bad.

How do I love you?
Well, now let me see . . .
I love the way you act so brave
when you fall and hurt your knee.

I love to watch you sleeping,
tucked away in dreams,
I love to hear you whisper
all your giant plans and schemes.

I love the way you wear your pants
with the front part in the back.
And the way you walk around sometimes
with your head inside a sack.

I love to see you deep in thought.
I love to watch you play.
And though I'm sure you'll never know it,
I love you more each day.

How do I love you? It's impossible to say.
For if I had a million days
and time enough for all the praise,
I couldn't tell you all the ways
. . . I LOVE YOU!

Sentiments Album Idea: Put lines from the above poem across the top or bottom of the pages with appropriate photos. Alter the words as needed.


Here's to the Kids Who are Different

(Dilby Wolfe)

Here's to the kids that are different,
The kids that don't always get A's.
The kids that have ears,
twice as big as their peers,
Or have noses that go on for days.

Here's to the kids that are different,
The kids that are just out of step.
The kids they all tease,
Who have cuts on their knees,
And whose sneakers are constantly wet.

Here's to the kids that are different,
The kids with a mischievous streak.
For when they have grown,
As history has shown,
It's their difference that makes them unique.


Two and a Half

Hold him a little longer,
Rock him a little more,
Tell him another story
(You've only told him four.)

Let him sleep on your shoulder,
Rejoice in his happy smile.
He is only two and a half
For such a little while!


My Blanket

My mom says I'm a big kid now,
Why keep this dirty old blanket.
The color is gone, the edges are rough and ragged,
Though dingy, frayed, well worn and loved,
Please don't rush me or expect us to part,
Remember my blanket warms me--and my heart.


Questions and Answers

(by Beverly Martin)

"Mommy, Mommy," she sings her request;
"What? What?" I answer my best.
"How does the sun shine? Where does it go?"
"Why is it dark when the cold wind blows?"
Questions and answers the whole day through,
Questions and answers--I think I'll turn blue!

But wait, just a moment, and look at her face,
She's questioning me with hope--also with faith.
Dear Lord, please bless me more patient to be,
Help me to answer her with sincerity.

Please help me to know this gift is not mine,
But a lease from Thee for my mortal time.
Help me to cherish more each day
Each little question she sends my way.


My Child

When I lay you down to sleep at night,
I kiss your tiny lips and wonder
at how very much I love you.
In the morning when you rise,
I look into my heart and find that
somewhere in the night
I grew to love you even more.


A Child's Love

A child's love is like a whisper,
given in little ways we do not hear.
But if you listen closely
it will be very clear.

They often do not say it loud,
but in how they come to you . . .
Daddy, will you play with me?
Mommy, tie my shoe?

The many ways they tell you,
Changes as they grow.
Dad, I made the team today!
Mom, I've Got to go!

Pop, I need some money,
You see there's . . . this girl at school.
Mama, I met a boy today and
Wow, he's so cool!

Dad, I've got something to tell you . . .
I think she is the one!
Mom, he asked me to marry him.
Would you love him as your son?

Dad, I've got some news for you . . .
It's going to be a boy!
Mom, I'm kind of scared of this,
yet I'm filled with joy!

A child's love is like a whisper,
given in little ways we do not hear.
But if you listen closely,
it will be very clear.

They often do not say it loud,
but in how they come to you . . .
Grandpa, will you play with me?
Grandma, tie my shoe?

It is never ending.
A blessing from above.
Listen to the whispers
of a child's love.


Extremes

(James Whitcomb Riley)

A little boy once played so loud
That the thunder, up in a thundercloud,
Said, "Since I can't be heard, why then
I'll never, never thunder again!"

And a little girl once kept so still
That she heard a fly on the window sill
Whisper and say to a ladybird,--
"She's the stillest child I ever heard!"


Texas Child

Blessed is the child who is Texas Born,
Where the wind blows free
And the sun shines warm;
Where children grow up to be honest and true,
To believe in themselves and in what they can do.

Dew sprinkled mornings, star-studded nights,
Fields strewn with wild flowers, big-city lights,
Sand-dollar beaches, and Hill Country streams,
Wild western vistas as wide as your dreams.
It's all a part of the state you call home,
and a part of your heart, wherever you roam.

Tall tales 'round the campfire,
or on grandma's knee,
Rich with legends and heroes, a proud history.
So dear Texas child, just revel in glory--
Someday you'll write your own Texas story!



Caregivers

Occasionally give a disposable camera to your day care provider or pre-school teacher so they can take photos for you.


Quotes


Child Caregiver's Poem

Everyone's at work and places they must be,
So you are important--You take care of me.
You're always there when I fuss or cry,
Whether it's to feed me or make me dry.
You're ready to wipe away my tears,
And when I get scared, you calm my fears.
I'm sorry for those things you cannot do
Because you are here making sure I'm not blue.
To thank you for all the work you do,
Here is an album (or poem) from me to you.
Just look at it and hear me say,
"I love you" in a special way.


Daycare Provider Poem

Although you're not their mother,
You care for them each day
You cuddle, sing, and read to them
And watch them as they play.

You see each new accomplishment
You help them grow and learn
You understand their language
And you listen with concern.

They come to you for comfort
And you kiss away their tears
They proudly show their work to you
You give the loudest cheers!

No, you are not their mother
But your role is just as strong
You nurture them and keep them safe
Though maybe not for long--

You know someday the time will come
When you will have to part
But you know each child you've cared for
Is forever in your heart!

(To adapt for a daycare providers own album, change each 'you' to 'I')


To a Caregiver

You watch my child when I
cannot be there, and yet
you've never tried
To take my place in such a
way that I feel pushed aside.
You always are remembered,
in the times we kneel in prayer
For you've blessed us in so
many ways, just by being there.
I hope our gratefulness is
evident, you see . . .
For you're a special person,
to my little one and me.


A Childcare Provider

A willing partner for working moms,
she comforts, pampers, soothes and calms.
With all the love she has to share,
she's great to have when mommy can't be there.

She loves to rock a fussy child,
corrects the one that gets too wild.
She hears her share of tearful pleas,
and comforts those with skinned up knees.

With little children she plays games of peek,
for bigger ones it's hide and seek.
She is an expert at each game,
but somehow loses just the same.

She helps them learn the alphabet,
and gives them hugs when they're upset.
She gently tucks them in their beds,
with dreamland tales for sleepyheads.

She is a true and trusted friend,
who helps them learn and play pretend.
Although she's paid, it's plain to see,
she serves them with a love that's free.


Daycare Provider Sanity Poem

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray my sanity may I keep.
For if some peace I do not find,
I'm pretty sure I'll lose my mind.

I pray I find a little quiet,
Far from the daily daycare riot,
May I lie back--not have to think,
about what they're stuffing down the sink,
or who they're with, or where they're at,
and what they're doing to the cat.

I pray for time all to myself,
(did something just fall off a shelf?)
To cuddle in my nice, soft bed,
(Oh no, another goldfish--dead!)

Some silent moments for goodness sake,
(Did I just hear a window break?)
And that I need not cook or clean,
(well heck, I've got the right to dream).

Yes now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray my wits about me keep,
But as I look around I know,
I must have lost them long ago!