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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Life in the Middle

As you may have heard, today is National Middle Child Day here in the United States.  This quasi-holiday was established in the 1980s by one Elizabeth Walker, who wanted a day for middle children because she thought that children in the middle of families often felt left out.  I feel like Elizabeth Walker may have been a kindred spirit.

As many of you may know, I am a middle child.  I have 6 brothers and sisters and I am actually number 4 in the birth order, making me smack dab in the middle of the middles.  I think that I am pretty classically middle child, though some may argue that since I was the baby for 5 years before my first younger brother came along, that it may somehow skew the results.

I have a theory about middle children.  I believe they are typically the hardest, most trying of the bunch, but they also can be the most faithful and loving as well.  Time and time again, I have heard from friends who talk about how they have this one child that infuriates them on a daily basis.  The child doesn't want to listen, they act out, they may throw temper tantrums, but they are also silly, quirky even.  They are typically the avant garde dressers, the ones who throw their passion into a source of creativity, and the ones who work very hard to be good at something!  Nearly every single friend who describes that child, when asked which child it is, will tell me it's their middle child.

It's often thought that middle children act out because they don't get enough attention.  The eldest is typically the straight A, always-do-right kid.  The baby is the oh-isn't-(s)he-cute, can-do-no-wrong child.  The middle child, or middle children, usually have to fight to be acknowledged.  There are even studies that show that middle children are typically NEVER the 'favorite' child in a household.

However, what middle children may lack in attention from their parents, they more than make up for in EXCESS EMOTION and perhaps a wee bit of MELODRAMA.  'Tis true.  Middle children are a bit more hypersensitive than most, I would wager.  I certainly was and sometimes am.  I am not a drama llama anymore, mind you, but I may have sobbed over missing a church meeting last week when it slipped my mind.  (I did.)  I also may tear up over sappy commercials.  (I do.)

Life in the middle was sometimes overwhelming and exhausting, but I got a bit of the best of both worlds.  I wasn't the first one to test the limits.  *cough* older sister *cough*  I learned how to read when I was 4 (my older siblings taught me).  I was never mistaken for an older sibling at school, because I was extraordinarily unique (i.e. WEIRD, really UNCOOL and WEIRD, with WEIRD clothes).  I also never had to worry about people treating me like a little kid even when I got older, because I learned to be fiercely independent.

First borns may have the brains and babies may have the unrestrained limits, but we middle kids don't have it so bad...we have a national holiday!  Middle children unite!

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