Blame It on Birth Order?
Being a middle child may seem like a curse, but this writer isn't so sure.
For years, my identity has been very much wrapped up in my middle-child-ness. Birth order made for a tidy, seemingly unambiguous personal and familial narrative. My sister was the anointed firstborn, I was the tormented middle child and my brother was the hey-look-at-me youngest.
But I'm no longer convinced it's so simple. My sister (who, for the record, I love and haven't fought with or called a mean name in years) recently had another child, her third, which means that my nephew Derek has gone from being the baby of the family to being the one in the middle. Does this mean his fate is suddenly sealed? That he's sure to suffer from so-called middle child syndrome? Not even a little. After all, Bill Gates and the Dalai Lama are middle children, and so was Martin Luther King. They turned out pretty well. And, although it may have taken me a while to get there, so did I.
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