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Much is expected of the oldest child. It is assumed the oldest will help care for the younger siblings, run errands, take messages accurately, help with meals and then the clean up. The oldest is the parents “right hand man”. The oldest is expected to “break the path” and “set the example” for the middles and youngest.
What about the middle child in large families? It is often true that the middles get the passed down clothes and second hand toys. It is also expected that the middles will give in to the babies of the family, plus be uncomplaining and obedient, at least usually. Often in spite of everything the middle child also grows up to be excellent communicators, have great interpersonal skills and show empathy to others. The oldest is thought to be entitled while the youngest are often the pampered one. The middles just do what is to be done and are sometimes ignored. One such instance was a middle child who quietly and politely said at the supper table, “Please pass the gravy”. No one heeded her request so she repeated it and then again the third time. She sighed and said aloud to herself “Maybe God will”…and at last she was heard and the gravy was passed.
In spite of it all we find that the majority of U.S. Presidents were middles. A few from that list includes Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Dwight David Eisenhower, and even Abraham Lincoln, although his younger brother died at a very young age and he later had several step-brothers as well as his older sister, Sarah.
Some giants in the business world were middles. How about Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg. Other notable middles were Princess Diana, Martin Luther King, Jr., Michael Jordan, Grace Kelly, and Queen Elizabeth I. Also of note was Charles Darwin, a middler who introduced the theory of evolution.
So, all of you middles, don’t feel ignored or excluded. It seems you are the salt of the earth and the diamond in the rough. Rise up! We need you to soothe the injuries and rudeness we encounter too often in the human race. You may be the champions after all.
Contributed by Marilyn Goodwin