I am first born. The pioneer. The lone soldier into the unknown. Forged from iron. Baptized in fire. Destroyer of curfews. Bender of rules. Exploiter of weakness. I set the bar. I am the parental experiment. The guinea pig. As a first born child, I learned quickly to evade parental punishment with an innate grace and beauty that would bring middle children to tears. Flirting with punishable acts in a “time out” ballet. And, as the stakes increased, I honed my skill to avoid punishment from all angles, like some kind of “you’re grounded” ninja. Skills that in the hands of a middle, or even more frightening, youngest sibling, would be squandered. These skills made me harder. Smarter. Instinctive. Feral. First born is not a choice. It is a fate. A fortune. A doom. A gift. A cosmic weight often thought to be shared with The Only child. But this is grossly untrue.
The Only child is a different beast all together. Held high on a mountain top. Protected. Admired. Masters of all the light touches. Sacrifice is unknown to The Only. They are proud, beautiful, smart and regal. But, The Only is soft. The Only makes there way through the parental gauntlet on velvet pillows and uses weak excuses to avoid conflict… like blaming imaginary friends. HA! Imaginary friends. The first born scoffs at even the thought of such rookie evasion maneuvers. Even the middle child would be embarrassed to lean on such infantile tactics.
Middle children, otherwise known as “the forgotten”, operate under principles of stealth. They have virtually vanished from the parental equation of getting into trouble. They have the buffer of siblings on either side. Blame can be passed virtually at will in any direction. They are blame deflectors. Nothing sticks. Because after three children, parents develop what scientists have classified as Middle-Child Brain Fog. When something goes down, the middle child will always have an alibi because parents think they were with the middle child doing something else… At least they are almost certain they were. Brain Fog makes it nearly impossible to place the middle child at the scene of the crime without some kind of recorded evidence. The middle child is everywhere and no where.
The youngest, being smaller, weaker, slower, learn quickly to rely on the most effective and lasting skill of all to work the parental labyrinth of rules and blame deflection. Innocence. Playing dumb is the most brilliant maneuver in the blame game. The youngest can’t get in to trouble for something they were inherently never responsible for. If there is someone older than the youngest child present they inherit the blame. Blame, actually defying all physics, science, and reason, rolls uphill. All blame ends with the first born.
This is the plight of the first born. When there is a new sibling after the first, the first born is not cast into the shadow. No. The first born marches into the shadow, head held high. Out of duty. Responsibility. Destiny. All those that come after me, the first born, will know the path I have set for them and they will pay there respects through offerings such as giving up the big piece of dessert, exclusive rights to the top bunk, or relinquishing the family remote control at my will. I will never know the middle car seat. I will never be kicked out of the shared bathroom. What’s mine is mine. What’s yours is yours. Unless I want it to be mine. Then it’s mine. You will know the eldest sibling when you stand before them, for they have walked to the end of the world and looked over the edge. Your shoulders are strong, first born. The load great. The road unpaved. But, the trail is blazed in glory.
Price: One Banana