Never feeling second.
That’s not something that a middle child will say often about their experiences growing up. Usually the middle child is forgotten more often than the child above and below, and it’s certainly easy to happen when you come from a family that’s as big as the one I had growing up. Between the full siblings, half and step brothers, I would understand today if I had felt like I didn’t get as much attention as my brothers and sister.
Considering my mother spent her entire days dealing with the educational system of elementary school children, it never dawned on me how tiring it must have been to deal with childhood sass ALL DAY LONG. I can’t even keep my irritation hidden when my dog bothers me twice in thirty minutes, let alone some little pod person giving you the same tired lies day in and out about why they didn’t do their homework. Spend eight hours keeping them in line and then come home to your own personal collection of children with their problems. How did she manage to take the time to listen to me complain about how unfair the world was when I didn’t even pay bills?
It’s because of my mother do I feel I’ve succeeded as far as I have today. Always there to encourage the passions, never belittling them but always with her feet planted firmly to play the voice of reason. Always there with a hand on my shoulders and an affirmative squeeze to let me know she would support me and my endeavors. The woman who raised me, mostly on her own, and still managed to bring myself and my small army of siblings up in this world to make it our own. The woman who had so many children in her life to look after, mentor, and love.
And I never felt second.