I’m a classic middle child in my family – but also a little bit of an oldest. I had the unique position when I was growing up that, for a lot of the school weeks during the year, it was just my younger sister and myself living at home. I tried to step up and play the role of the oldest; protective of my younger sister, helping my mom with chores, making up games for my sister to oblige to play with me, all the oldest-kid things.
When my three half-siblings would come home, all who are older than me, I reverted back to the middle child (very happily, I might add). I remember our summer birthday scavenger hunt for the infamous DQ cake and consistently running back to my mom crying because the older three ran so much faster than me that I never got to read a clue. I would watch as she would gently tell my older siblings to ensure I was included. However, I also remember stacking the four cords of firewood my dad would order in the summer and his eyes were usually elsewhere, making sure my oldest siblings were stacking at a rate he was satisfied with, and I could get away with stacking at my own pace. I also always desired peace…and still do today. When fights broke out amongst the five of us, as siblings sometimes do, I tried to smooth the waters in whatever way I could.