The Third Wheel

By | January 28, 2014

Third wheel

When people ask me about my kids, I tell them I have a girl and a boy.

“Oh, perfect! One of each!”

They always look a little alarmed when I tell them I’m expecting another. Why would I need another? I have my girl, and I have my boy. I just shrug and tell them I love babies.

The truth is, I’ve always known I wasn’t “done,” no matter how balanced everything is with that even denominator. I know I want another.

Now, I must tell you this: I will be happy with whatever the Lord gives me.

But if I’m honest, I’ll tell you I secretly hope for another girl.

Why? Because I want Coco to have a sister.

I come from a large family. We have four boys and two girls. My sister is one of the greatest gifts God ever gave me. No joke. My brother who came right before her was greeted with wrath.

“Send him back!” I shrieked to my parents.

My sister?

She was like a fluffy, cotton-candy, angel-scented gift from up-above. I loved her instantly. Fiercely. And I’ve never stopped.

We’re five years apart, my sis and I. She was my baby doll. The person I could boss around and bribe. She literally would do anything I told her to do. That was both fun and dangerous. {I actually got her tipsy about fifteen years before her legal age–but that’s a story for another time.}

She was my third wheel. Always lingering around my friends and I. Oh yes, I would get annoyed when she would camp out in the closet during my slumber parties. Her ear glued to the door.

My husband and I started dating in high school and once again, my sister was the third wheel.

She positioned herself as his other little sister and demanded attention, consideration, and respect. I would wait for my 16 year old boyfriend to complain about the third wheel.  I agonized over what would happen should he ever complain.

You know what?

He never did. Kirsten made it more fun. She charged right through our hormonal, twitter-pated love-feast and demanded that we have fun. With her.

kirsty and matt

She was my wingman, chaperone, and responsibility–all rolled into one. What she thought about my boyfriend and me mattered a great deal.

Somewhere along the way, I got cold feet and broke up with him.

“He was perfect for you!” she blubbered through bitter tears. My sister was only twelve years old and yet, she knew me almost better than I did. She made a point to pray–out loud–that Matt would take me back.

Sisters are the best of friends because they’ll tell you the truth without worrying about your feelings. Kirsten let me have it for getting rid of such a good guy. Fortunately, I did get him back.

I have to stop myself in what could be an endless chronicle of memories. I guess my point here is that I want my daughter to have a sister.

I want her to have another girl–another woman–with whom she can be honest, vulnerable, and strong–all at once . I want her to have a friendship that knows no bounds. A friendship that grows with years and expands in understanding.

I want my daughter, and my son for that matter, to have a third wheel. People throw that term around as if its a bad thing–the third wheel. But in my case, my little sister always helped to balance me out. She kept me from being completely self-absorbed and selfish.

I truly believe that I “put up” with my third wheel because she made me a better version of myself.  Was I hoping to live up to her standards? Yes, always.

Whatever we end up having–boy or girl–I pray that they make my boy and girl better for knowing them.



14 thoughts on “The Third Wheel

  1. tom montella

    you are simply amazing! I like the way you write! incredible writer, author, mom, keep writing you are super and there are 4 of us and I think one maybe two have to get off their high horse and start getting back to family my parents are not getting much younger! that’s for another time.i like your blog.

  2. Kat

    I sometimes joke that baby #1 was because it was the next logical step in building a family and I had no idea what I was doing, baby #2 was a playmate for #1 and baby #3 was for me. He gets left out ALL the time, but I don’t care because he’s mine. I have sisters too and I adore raising little girls…but I have a feeling that bond between brothers would be pretty amazing to watch too. You win either way!!…but I think you already know that. ????

    1. hillary

      Yeah…I really can’t lose on this one. And there’s a four year gap between this one and my #2 so I’m looking forward to a BABY!

  3. Margo Hayes

    Love this… for obvious reasons:) Can’t wait to meet baby Leonard #3!!

  4. HouseTalkN

    I’m so excited for you! We have four and it is such a treat to see the relationship building between them. They will always have a built in wingman/woman!

    1. hillary

      I think four is a sweet number–I just don’t know if I’ll be able to talk the hubs into another!

  5. Jennifer McCullough

    This is such a sweet post, Hillary! I think it’s great that you had such a wonderful relationship with your little sister growing up. I am the oldest of three (two girls and a boy) and I can honestly say that I don’t think it matters if your next child is a boy or a girl. Your daughter can still be best friends with either one. My brother, who is 7 years younger than I am, was my buddy growing up and now he’s my dearest friend in the world. I think personality is more a determinant of friendship than gender, but that’s just my experience:) Congratulations on baby #3!!

    1. hillary

      You’re right–and we just found out recently we’re having a boy haha ???? He is already so loved by his big sister and brother. Cannot wait to meet him!

  6. Chris Carter

    Every single woman I know has an incredibly special ‘third wheel’- their third child always seems to be something even more magnificent than the other two that came before them. Many are the ‘oops’ babies- that turned out to be their miracle child. The most beloved of all- for the entire family to embrace.

    1. hillary

      I know. A brother could be just as wonderful ???? I’m so excited for this baby!

  7. 7 Ways To Eat Your Placenta | Because my life is fascinatingBecause my life is fascinating

    […] I’ve had a girl and I’ve had a boy. […]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.