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The Middle Child

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A middle child is often described as being insecure, ignored by parents, lacks drive and looks to the first born for direction, loners, not an overachiever and likes to go with the flow.
When I first met P and learned he was the middle child of three siblings, I asked him if it was true what was said about middle children. He had an older brother and a younger sister. I myself am an only child and could not imagine not being special because both sides of the family doted on me. Well, P said his parents treated all of them equally. They all had the same opportunities of studying abroad and he never felt that he got less attention. As for the other characteristics, I found him to be confident, intelligent, easygoing but always striving to do his best.
All these came to mind because last weekend P went home to Indonesia to attend his brother's wedding. He was the best man. He bought a formal suit here before he left. His first suit he said. When he came back last night, I asked all about the wedding. Being female, I asked about the motif, the ceremony as compared to ours here in the Philippines, what the bride wore, etc.
Later that night, he told me more about his trip. He stayed with his bestfriends instead of his relatives because he was not comfortable. His three closest friends who had little in common. One was a devout seven day adventist (like P) who valued spirituality more than material things, one came from a rich family and was throwing money left and right, and the last is sort of in-between who got lucky to have a good job with a major athletic shoe company. He told me that when he got there he had no money. Since he's still studying medicine, he is dependent on his parents. He asked his friends if they could cover his share of the cost for their meals and whatnot. They gladly did. Up until after the wedding and returning here, he had to ask his friend for money for the airport tax. His parents didn't give him money and he didn't ask.
Then he told me about the wedding which was apparently very grand. He said if it were held here in the Philippines it could have cost around a million pesos. Then he said that despite his brother having a very good job with a multinational company, his parents still paid for the wedding. He said that for him, he preferred it to be simple and not spend so much money.
Throughout his telling me this, I kept silent but my heart broke for him. All that he achieved were through his own efforts. He went to college abroad but it was on scholarship and he worked to have pocket money. He graduated cum laude. Here studying medicine, he makes do with what is sent him and doesn't ask for more even if there are unexpected expenses. He makes do and he's very resourceful.
He might not be ignored by his parents but he is not favored as well. The first born is given all the help and the youngest is doted on. Despite it, there is no resentment. He makes do and does his best in whatever he does. He lives simply (except for his love for gadgets). In my past life, I was the typical only child, getting what I wanted and was very materialistic. I loved jewelry, make up, shopping and being pampered. After all I've been through in my life, I left my materialism behind and started living simply. If I had met him earlier in my life, I probably wouldn't be attracted to him. Now though I appreciate him and all that I've learned from him. It must be true that we get into bad relationships to prepare us for the right one.
Going back to the topic, I guess some of the description of the middle child was right but it's really up to the person how he lives his life and it's outcome.


SANDY January 13, 2010 at 12:13 AM  

Your description of the middle child is nothing like any I've ever read on the subject. The only part that seems to be in agreement with my reading on the subject is the middle child is the peace maker. Why, not because they're weak, in fact the opposite. The middle child is typically the most responsible, the most successful, and mature.

I am a middle child and that's why I've read about it, it's really a fascinating subject.

There is some feeling about not fitting in...age wise. You're too old to do with the younger child is doing; and too young to do what the older child is doing; so you don't quite fit. That's going to be different obviously given the spread of ages of 3 sibs. In my case, one needs to factor in I'm the only girl sandwiched between 2 boys. Add to that the society of what girls do and what guys are suppose to do...or what society thought back then (becaucse it's vastly different now).

It sounds to me like your hubby is thought of in the same way I have been in my family. One who doesn't need help. One who can take care of things, one is responsible, dependable etc.

Kudos to your hubby, from middle child to another.


HiPnCooLMoMMa January 18, 2010 at 11:04 AM  

depends on the person i must say. Hope everything will work well for all of you!

margheritarocks,  January 20, 2010 at 3:02 PM  

Love is in the air...

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