Last week I got an email from the Corpus Christi Hooks announcing that August 12 is Middle Child Day and that they were discounting tickets to the game by $1. It’s probably not enough to compensate for the pain suffered by those of us caught in the middle.
I heard about Middle Child Day last year on August 14. Of course, nobody had publicized it so nobody acknowledged it. Nothing new about that. Why would anyone care? We middles aren’t as clever and poised as our older sibling or as cute and funny as our younger one. We’re just there. The schwa of the family.
If you ask my older sister, she will say that I had it easy coming after her. Our parents had waited years before her arrival. Years of accumulated expectations cascaded on her from birth. By the time I came along: meh. I got side notes in my older sister’s baby book. The parents didn’t even use a different colored ink.
When my younger sister was born, my older sister got me instead of a Chatty Cathy doll. She was not amused.
There are charts and books written about birth order and how it affects us. If you ask either end of our sibling triad, they think their lot in life is worse. But that’s just like them. Grabbing all the credit.
Giant Eyeore sigh.
The truth is that I wouldn’t trade my place in the birth order if I could. I am in the middle of 3 sisters so I’ve been blessed with relationships with both of them. My older sister is incredibly smart and defied every rule. Openly. She made it easy for me to break all the rules under the radar. She was a high achiever so our parents had already gotten the recognition they deserved for great parenting. When I came along, they certainly weren’t looking for lightning to strike twice in the same uterus.
Were they disappointed? Possibly. That’s why we middles are flexible, secretive, easy-going, and generous. If we can’t con our way into your heart, we buy our way in. Best of all, there were few barriers for me. If my older sister got to do it, I did too. I know because, being the family schwa, I am a great observer. Life might be unfair, but I have scapegoats on either side of me to shift the blame to.