I’m going to drop a little knowledge bomb on the followers of this blog. Life can be awesome for middle children. We are absolutely indecisive, and marginalized, and the list goes on (see older posts). But what I am here to say is that to me, being the middle child means making lemonade.
I wasn’t always so positive. My sister is 13 months older than me and my Mom thought it would be a great idea to raise us like twins. (PS. I’m a dude. Get ready for the fun stories). “What does being raised like twins mean?” you ask. Well, it pretty much means that I had to go to everything my sister wanted to do, tag along and keep her company while she got to bail on everything I wanted to do. Figure skating, gymnastics, ballet; name any activity a 10 year old girl would be interested in, and I probably took extensive lessons for it. While my sister was the envy of all her friends, I was trying to convince my friends that baseball players trained in slippers, that only the best football players wore tights, and that something called a “Lacrosse Leotard” really did exist.
[Quick side note to those who were wondering: Displaying a perfectly formed Pirouette on the playground is not exactly the best way for a youthful member of the male gender to make friends.]
I was embarrassed of all of these things until I started owning them. What I learned from gymnastics taught me exciting ways to risk my life on a snowboard. Ballet and Figure skating? I became one badass hockey player. Sure I was furious when my sister decided to tell my mom she wanted me to keep her company at acting camp. Right up until I found out the camp thought “Ariel” was a girl’s name, and placed me in a group with 24 other ladies for 3 weeks. Though I’m sure I would have enjoyed that more had I not been 9.
The advantages to being a middle child didn’t only come from being my sisters surrogate twin. Lurking quietly in the shadow of my siblings, I realized that as long as my sister was dating nefarious characters and my brother was breaking stuff then I had to do relatively little put the imaginary “favorite kid” trophy in my imaginary trophy case. All I had to do was wait for their mistakes and I could do whatever I wanted as long as the damage was less than what they did.
Being a middle child made me who I am today. I always know where the line is and I know how to cross it and not get caught; I’m independent and responsible; I’m observant and calculating; I can do a really awesome cartwheel. The fact is I never had a choice about being a middle child, so it’s up to me to decide if I want to just bite right into that lemon and spend the next 75 years gagging or juice the crap out of it and drink my deliciously refreshing beverage.
I’m also majoring in conflict resolution. I guess some things you can’t escape.
[This post was written by a fellow middle child...if you want to hear more check out his blog at arielspursuitof