I in the middle

by Evans Yonson

(Note: Today’s entry was suggested by Ma. Krisal Poquita.)

That's me in the middle. From R to L: Manoy Bobong, Diko Lolot, Jjoy and Vya.

Barcelona – We are five siblings by our parents. My father had sired one daughter before he met my mom. He also played around when the five of us were growing and had another son. That makes us seven siblings in all. But today, I am going to talk about myself growing up with my mom (and sometimes with my dad) and with my four siblings.

Manoy Bobong was born in 1964. Diko in 1965. Me in 1968. Jjoy in 1970. Vya in 1974. My two older brothers were born only 16 months apart. They practically grew up together. They’re the best of friends actually. While, Jjoy and I have almost 23 months between us. My parents wanted to have a baby girl for their child but I came along. When my mom was pregnant of Jjoy, I contracted poliomyelitis -an infantile paralysis. No one could really explain to me what happened then. But it left my right shoulder and arm immobile. I became the cursed one in the family. Jjoy has the same birthdate as my paternal grandfather. Thus, he became the center of our family’s universe. When our sister was born, our eldest brother was almost 10 years old. I just started going to school, skipping kindergarten.

My former student asked me once, do I have a middle child syndrome? I asked myself the same question, too. So I did some readings about this so-called syndrome. Some authors have these thoughts to say:

The middle or second born child or children often have the sense of not belonging. They fight to receive attention from parents and others because they feel many times they are being ignored or dubbed off as being the same as another sibling.

I never felt this sense of total non-belongingness with my family. Although at times, I would wonder if I didn’t have poliomyelitis would it made the difference? My parents became overprotective of me. I was not allowed to do this and to do that. There were so many constraints but it all boiled down to having that infantile paralysis. They would reason out that I might be able make it and all the dangers of the outside world.

Being in the middle a child can feel insecure.

I believe the insecurity part came with growing up. The adolescent stage of my life became stressful but with the friends I had in school, I became more secure and certain that I belong. Stressful because my father was gallivanting to satisfy his carnal desires. I witnessed all these when I was in high school and it was painful. There were times at night that I would write endlessly all my thoughts and tears flowed like it was the Fountain of Trevi.

The middle child often lacks drive and looks for direction from the first born child.

I am lazy at times but I don’t lack drive that often. My siblings always respect all my personal decisions. I consult them sometimes but they always let me decide for myself.

Sometimes a middle child feels out of place because they are not over achievers and like to go with the flow of things.

Yes, sometimes but it does not affect the way I see and do things. I think it’s human instinct to go with the flow sometimes. I get to be persistent at times, too.

Being a middle child would mean they are loners.

Like I always say, I am almost always alone but never lonely. Thank goodness for the internet.

They really don’t like to latch on to a person in a relationship, there fore they have trouble keeping one due to lack of interest.

I think this applies to me 100%. I easily lose interest in a relationship. But for as long as I am alive and hopeful, relationships will always come. And I always learn from all my past romance and liaisons…

Not liking to take the limelight for anything, they are not over achievers and just simply work enough work to get by, and typically that goes with school as well as a career.

I don’t like to take the limelight every time I have that chance. I know when to walk on my own parade. I don’t think this is applicable to school and my career. My education and previous jobs and achievements are my trophies.

They are however very artistic and creative.

No doubt.

If forced to use abilities they will work well, but do not work well under pressure.

I don’t think so.

They often start several projects but rarely keep focused long enough to finish a project.

I haven’t been through this situation yet.

The best career move for a middle child would be along the lines of using their creative. Going into a writing or journalism career, and into a career that they could freely express themselves would be good.

I agree.

Growing up as a middle child can make the youngster feel like they go unnoticed by his parents. The oldest children are held in high esteem due to their accomplishments while the youngest are coddled and babied. The middle child may feel as if he has to struggle just to get noticed.

Yes, indeed. In terms of school allowance, I had the lowest. While my siblings were receiving higher allowances and newer clothes every year, I had to contend with hand-me-downs and clothes from last year.

The middle child may also constantly compare themselves to the other siblings, especially the older ones. He may seek interests in different areas that will allow them to stand apart from their elder.

My older siblings took the same university studies, I didn’t. I chose my own field despite the insistence of my dad to take Accountancy. I chose two fields without actually telling them. I finished with double majors to their surprise on graduation day.

This attention-seeking attitude also tends to make the middle children the “risk-takers,” often participating in dangerous sports or choosing careers that have an element of danger and/or risks involved.

If teaching is considered as dangerous then I am certainly a risk taker.

There are some good traits that are exhibited by middle children. These children grow up to be more independent and are born mediators and negotiators.

Enough said.

I believe that my parents have treated all of us fairly. My mom had to squeeze tightly our monthly budget when we were growing up. They have provided us with the best possible education there is. No matter the price. I may have hated my parents then, but as I age I understand why they did what they have done before. There were five of us going to private schools, at the same time. Being the loyal and hardworking government employees that they were, the middle child syndrome is simply an idea to me. It may or may not have spelled the difference in life. Without a doubt, our parents have instilled in us the right values.