Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Middle Matters

C.B. Gavant

Whether you’re the second child or the seventh, most people fall somewhere in between the bechor and the baby. How does this affect personality? Does it matter how big your family is? Middle-borns share their side of the birth-order story.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

“By the time my older sister, Sarah,* was sixteen, she could run my father’s store. If my mother was sick, she’d take her place in the office,” says Hindy* about her high-achieving firstborn sister. “I couldn’t even do that now!”

Not that Hindy is incompetent. This mother of a large brood is perfectly capable of taking charge, and often does — such as the time her sister-in-law unexpectedly flew out of town on Erev Shabbos, leaving all six of her children in Hindy’s care.

Yet when a big job needs to get done, Hindy still turns to her older sister. “People in my community think of me as this super-organized, super-balabusta, but I don’t hold a candle to my sister!” she exclaims. “To this day, Sarah is the one who hosts the entire family for Pesach, organizes all the family simchahs, and more.”

The two sisters were born only a year apart, so what makes Sarah and Hindy so distinctly different? For Hindy, it’s a matter of birth order. Despite the minor age gap, she still feels like a true middle child.

In frum society, where most families are made up of more than just the bechor and the baby, there are many middle kids around. What exactly personifies them? How does having both older and younger siblings affect you? Does it make a difference if you’re the second in a family of ten, or the fourth of five kids?

 

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
Evolution vs. Revolution
Shoshana Friedman I call it the “what happened to my magazine?” response
Up, Up, and Away
Rabbi Moshe Grylak What a fraught subject Eretz Yisrael is, to this day
Where Do You Come From?
Yonoson Rosenblum Could they be IDF officers with no Jewish knowledge?
Heaven Help Us
Eytan Kobre Writing about anti-Semitism should rouse, not soothe
Work/Life Solutions with Chedva Kleinhandler
Moe Mernick “Failures are our compass to success”
An Un-Scientific Survey
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Are Jerusalemites unfriendly? Not necessarily
Out of Anger
Jacob L. Freedman How Angry Lawyer was finally able to calm down
5 Things You Didn’t Know about…Yitzy Bald
Riki Goldstein He composed his first melody at eight years old
When the Floodgates of Song Open, You’re Never Too Old
Riki Goldstein Chazzan Pinchas Wolf was unknown until three years ago
Who Helped Advance These Popular Entertainers?
Riki Goldstein Unsung deeds that boosted performers into the limelight
Your Task? Ask
Faigy Peritzman A tangible legacy I want to pass on to my children
Are You There?
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Emotional withdrawal makes others feel lonely, abandoned
A Peace of a Whole
Rebbetzin Debbie Greenblatt Love shalom more than you love being right
Seminary Applications
Rabbi Zecharya Greenwald, as told to Ariella Schiller It’s just as hard for seminaries to reject you