Be yourself, everyone else is taken
– Oscar Wilde
Yesterday, when I drove with my daughter Noff to a “girls’ night out” at her school, she said to me, “I wish I had a baby sister or a baby brother”. That started a conversation about what is best to be – the youngest in the family (she is 8 years old and she is the youngest), the middle child (in our case, this is my 13-year-old son Tsoof) or the eldest (my 20-year-old daughter Eden).
Well, it was very interesting having a conversation like this with an 8-year-old, but she was mature enough to detach herself from her desires, stay in the conversation and examine all the advantages and disadvantages of each position. Here is how the conversation went:
Me: “Which one do you think is best to be – the eldest, the middle or the youngest?”
Noff: “I think the eldest. Eden had two young baby siblings that she could take care of”
Me: “Are you happy to have Eden as your big sister?”
Noff: “Oh, yes, she is a great big sister”
Me: “Do you think Eden would have liked to have a big sister just like her?”
Noff: “Oh, yes … But she can’t! Eden will never have a big sister or brother, because she is the oldest”
Me: “You’re right. There are things that oldest kids never get to experience”
Noff: “I will never have a younger sister of brother”
Me: “And Tsoof?”
Noff: “He will never be the oldest or the youngest”
Me: “So who is in the worst position?”
Noff: “Tsoof is, because he is in the middle … maybe not … he was the youngest until I was born”
Me: “So what do you think is best to be?”
There was a long silence. We parked the car and walked to the school hall for the “girls’ night out” event. Many moms and daughters were in the room, which was beautifully decorated with balloons and lights. On a large table, there were many cakes ready to participate in the cake-decorating competition.
Noff and I held hands and I told her I was happy we had the opportunity to spend some time together. She smiled and said, “I think it’s best to be me”.
As we entered the hall, I was so proud of my little girl. She is just 8 years old, yet she already understands something that many grownups never do. I hope this feeling will last her a lifetime.
Enjoy being you,