43 years have elapsed since my brother's
memorable baby luau in 1958. [See Three
Disappointments and A Baby Boy]
This summer, our
family gathered for a reunion, which our extended family now does
every two years.
One night, Mom (76),
(53) and I (49) were reminiscing. Laughingly, I mentioned that as a little
girl I imagined that I was from outer space, dropped off on Earth, and
adopted into the family. This fantasy, I explained, helped me make
child sense of why there were no photos of me as an infant and
toddler, and why I never had a birthday party as a kid.
surprised me. San was shocked to hear this, as she believes,
growing up, I was the favored daughter. She exclaimed, "No,
that can't be."
I could see that Mom was
genuinely taken aback. After she went through the family album in
her head, she slowly nodded in agreement, "You know, I think you're
right, I don't recall seeing any baby pictures of you. And I didn't
realize until now that we never threw a birthday party for you."
This was a family reunion,
not a time for The
Middle Child Syndrome group therapy, and I laughed it off, "Not to worry,
I got over it."
Seeing San's and Mom's reactions, I did realize that, back then no one noticed
my "no photos, no birthday party" phenomena but
Fast forward to 2001:
My baby brother, Dino,
is a 44 year old man and a father of two
cherished daughters. He did not grow up to become a spoiled,
materialistic person. All that maternal love fostered a loving father and husband, who puts intrinsic values
ahead of extrinsic ones. He has no middle children.
As for "my own little
dolly", Joan, she is the kindest and sweetest person I know.
And I'm not just saying that because she's "mine". Everyone says
it. She is the mother of a well-rounded daughter, who has been pampered and spoiled by
her mother with undivided love and attention, just as I spoiled Joanz.
She has no middle children.
My big sis, San, is a firm, but loving mother of two outstanding sons. Her oldest is a graduate of Stanford University; her
youngest, a college student at University of California, Irvine.
She loves each fully and as individuals. She has no middle children.
and I have no middle
The Middle Child
Syndrome did not persist into the next generation. Yea!
The silver linings of
this streaming this entry are:
It's no wonder why I
love the camera. My first-ever photos were gifts from Uncle Frank, when
I was 4; and the only studio portrait of me at age 8, a gift from the
newly-wed couple, when I was their flower
Maybe it makes perfect sense why these days, I am the self-appointed
family documentarian, gathering old family photos, putting
them online for the entire family, and taking pictures of EVERYONE at
our gatherings, taking especial care that NO ONE gets left out.
This would be another silver
lining, but it's up to you to make it one:
let a middle child know how unique and important that child is to the
whole of the family.
If you're a parent of
a middle child, you'll take the following advice to heart:
"The best advice I was given concerning low
self-esteem in my middle child was from another mother who was a middle child in her family.
Her mom told her:
"You cannot make a sandwich without the middle,
and it does not matter whether you choose to be sirloin steak one day
or baloney the next. We just are not complete without you right in
You make us a whole unit."
What a sweet way to let your
child know their birth order has meaning." ~ Source
The worse that can happen with "middle
child" neglect is another Osama bin Laden. He is one of
the middle children of his father's 54 children. Perhaps, he was
overlooked, lost in the shuffle, marginalized and trivialized, and maybe starved for individual
attention and personalized love.
Neglect is never forgotten, and
from the look of things, he has not sought understanding, and,
therefore, has not forgiven. Years later, he has lashed out, seeking revenge, and everyone is paying.
to doughnuts, if
Osama bin Laden were one of two kids, instead of 54, he'd never have grown up to be
world-class terrorist he is today.
Too bad his soul did not
find another family that would have given him the
abundance of love and attention every child craves and needs to grow up
into a caring, loving human being.
Here's a food-for-thought article on the effects of overpopulation by an
articulate, thinking college student. If your mind is hungry,
this will satisfy it:
Real Root of All Evil?
With more than six billion
(6,198,792,237) humans straining the resources of the world, there is hardly a shortage
of human beings. Enough is enough.
It is my fervent wish that
each child born is planned, wanted, and cherished.
"Life is a Gift."
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