Monday, December 21, 2020

Smaller Family Gatherings: Middle Child Blessing or Curse?

     According to the CDC, “The safest way to celebrate the winter holidays is to celebrate at home with people who live with you. Gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu.” 
     Naturally, this recommendation has caused many people a lot of stress and sadness, and I totally get it. People love getting together for the holidays, so I know it’s hard to believe that a cloud like this could have any silver lining, but if I’m being totally honest with you -- and I mean brutally totally honest with you -- if you suffer from Middle Child Syndrome (and I know I’m going to take a lot of crap for saying this, but I’m going to say it anyway), it may not be the worst thing in the world! Please, hear me out.
     As Middle Children, we’re famous for feeling left out, passed over, ignored, slighted. The least favorite in the family. Living in the shadows of our older siblings. Not adored like our younger siblings. Are you honestly telling me that not getting to experience all those “good feels” is something we should miss? Is a one year break from feeling like the family outcast such a horrible thing? I mean, c’mon. Does passing up another family gathering where you feel like you’re never getting enough attention really seem like the worst thing in the world? Besides, now that there’s a coronavirus vaccine, we’ll be back to being cast aside and forgotten before you know it, if it’s any consolation.
     I say Middle Children should cherish this moment! Because if we’ve learned anything from this mess -- and I sure hope we have -- it won’t ever happen again. Then we’ll be back to whining and moaning about having to get together with everyone and being slighted and overlooked and so on and so forth. Plus, staying home might actually help save someone’s life. If you ask me, it sounds  like a win-win.
     On the other hand, like all things Middle Child, there’s a twist. A catch. You see, Middle Child Syndrome may not be the best thing to have, but it’s our thing. All those feelings that are dredged up every time the family gets together? Sure, they suck -- but they’re ours, dammit! If we don’t have them, what are we left with? What is our signature Middle Child issue? You’re going to deny me an opportunity to feel overlooked and forgotten? How dare you! No fair! 
     See, I told you it was twisted, but that's how Middle Child logic works. 
     Of course, I don’t know why I’m even getting the least bit worked up over any of this. No one invited me anywhere anyway. 

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Middle Children need to be heard!