A lot has been written about the middle child. Unfortunately I can’t be bothered to go look it up because, pffft, who cares?
Actually, that’s not true. I, myself, am a Jan Brady of sorts. Not the oldest, not the youngest, not the only boy. I’m as middle as it gets in a family with four kids.
In my own brood, it’s a little more complicated. Back in the 80s, I had two. So there was an oldest and a youngest. Eleven years later, I had another one. So she became the youngest and the previous youngest became the middle. But no, because of the huge gap between them, the first two remain apart from this third one who, while definitely still the baby, is really more like an only child in every way.
And then five years pass, and in fairly rapid succession, there are two more. (NB: What the heck was I thinking??)
Now that third one is no longer the baby. She’s also no longer an only. Mathematically, she’s a middle child, but is she? Because she’s pretty bossy with the younger two, lording her seniority over them, so she’s kind of an oldest, but there is a big gap between her and the older ones and another big gap between her and the younger ones.
So, let’s review, shall we? The girl who is precisely a middle child has fulfilled the roles of youngest, oldest, middle, and only child.
Well, no wonder she’s got that slightly dazed look on her face so often!
Today is July 12th and my middle daughter, Sarah “Rose” (that’s her fake middle name because she didn’t like the one her dad and I gave her) is 20 years old. TWENTY! How did that happen?
Here’s what I know about middle daughters:
- Sometimes they feel like they don’t have much in common with their mothers when, in fact, they do. More than they realize now, but they will over time. All the good parts, none of the bad. Well, except that volume-control thing. Let’s work on that, OK?
- For about 3 years, they made their mothers watch them do cartwheels. Constant cartwheels. All cartwheels, all the time. “Wait, I messed that one up. Let me try again. Hold on, one more time. That one was bad. Watch this one!” For a long period of time, their mothers never wanted to see another cartwheel again, but…. some would love to see one more now just for the sheer comedic value of it. In fact, some really do have fond memories of all the cartwheels.
- They are bossy as can be with their little sisters, but they are wonderful to them, too. Involved, caring, honest, helpful.
- They feel things deeply and are always trying to help one side see the point of view of the other side. They are diplomatic. They are mediators. They collaborate well and bring people together. They get along.
- They may think I’ve forgotten about The Incident from early 2015 but, no, I have not. (I just slipped this one in so you’d know you’re not off the hook.)
- They work hard. They work hard at school and at work and at home. They may think their mothers and others don’t notice or appreciate this but they’d be wrong. (Also? See point #1. Yeah.)
- They try their best to do the right thing. That doesn’t mean they don’t make mistakes sometimes (See point #5) but mostly they care about being a good person.
- They will go far in life. It won’t always be easy but they will never give up.
- They are loved and admired.
- They like lists that end with a nice, even 10 entries. (See point #1.) (I might have made this one up. I really don’t know if you’re as weird as me in this regard.)
One last thing – middle daughters never get blog posts written about them. Well, hardly ever. 😉
Happy birthday, Sarah Noelle. Let’s go have some Red Lobster (and here we are back to point #1 again) to celebrate what I know will be a great year for you!