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Ode to the Middle Child

July 3, 2012

Christmas 2010


Written by Marykate OMalley, mother of 3 wonderful children, Riverside CT


The other day at a book store I picked up a copy of The Secret Power of Middle Children and flipped through it making a mental note to buy it at a later time, when I wasn’t already reading three. As an older child I often think about my son’s placement, and what it must feel like to be wedged between two sisters with very different personalities.

Mount Vernon | Alexandria, VA

Whatever the effect, it seems to have served him well. My middle child, and only boy, is my “thank goodness for _______ child.  Whether bedtime or dinner time or while leaving for camp he is always the one who seems to be doing exactly what I need him to be doing at that time.

En route to his sister’s dance rehearsal and soccer ready!

He is altruistic and civic minded. He is the one picking up trash at the playground to care for the earth. Or he will be the first one to resolve a conflict by giving up his seat in the car to accommodate a  playdate. And he seems to intuitively know when I need to hear, “thank you mom for this delicious dinner” or know when his sister needs a kind word.

Tod’s Point | Old Greenwich, CT

He is neat and tidy and his collections of rocks, popsicle sticks and baseball cards are organized meticulously. He is a dreamer and star gazer. Artistic and creative, he will come up with honey on bagels or mixing fruit juices to create new flavors. I tell him he is the connector – the one who holds both his sister’s hands. As the middle child, he has a very important seat in the family and order of things.

Top of the Rock | New York City

I am not sure when I will get to this book, it looks worth reading. Which I suppose is very middle child like! However, I already know whatever wisdom and insights I will learn about these middle children, I  already know they are true humanitarians, kind and generous to the core. And not forgotten or brushed over, but celebrated for what they bring to all of us.

Does this easy disposition ring true of other middle children out there? Has anyone read this book? I want to read to it.

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  1. Anne Schenendorf

      on July 4, 2012 10:50 am

    I love this post and and can’t wait to read the book! I wonder if it is that this perspective of family order makes you see both sides. It seems yo be a gift because all of the traits you describe will make his life brighter and as you said, the people around him as well…


  2. Marykate Wurster

      on July 8, 2012 9:53 am

    Interesting Anne – had not thought of that! XO


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