You ever felt like this? Like everyone else except you gets to be first, respected, cared for, and thought of as special. Some of you may even be the oldest and middle sibling and saw all the benefits the youngest sibling enjoyed while you endured hard labor and criticism. If this is you, you've landed at the perfect blog topic for today. Often the oldest or middle sibling is the family workhorse; I don't mean that disrespectfully, but typically it's true. Parents will volunteer you for babysitting services, church clean up activities, and other duties, too many to name. All this under the guise of helping to build character, work ethic, and teach the importance of responsibility. I don't know about you, but if they had just asked, I am sure you would have chosen another method more pleasant to build character traits. It is a natural feeling for all of us to want attention and be an intricate part of the family and thought of as special.
As a parent of two, I'm just as guilty as the rest, but I will offer a different perspective in the paragraphs below. My son (the youngest) has had an easier time than his sister, not because we are unfair parents, but typically, your firstborn is the proving ground. You're trying to understand what works, and there is a lot of trial and error, and if you have a middle child, they get it worse because they are the experiment from strategies cook up from child one. What a mess this can be. By the time you get to the youngest, you are through trial and error, behavioral experiments, and older and tired, so your endurance level is not the same. As parents, we've all heard this statement from the most senior or middle child: "If I had done that, I would have gotten in serious trouble; he or she gets away with everything." What About Me?
While the appearance of the facts mentioned above probably rains true, we will never forget you. Do you remember the biblical story of the "Prodigal Son"? In short, the youngest asked his Father for his inheritance prematurely and then spent it all wastefully and wound up eating in a pigpen. When he came to his senses, he brushed himself off and said I will go back to my Father's house, not even worthy of a son, but as a servant because that would be better than where I am today. When the Father realized his son was returning, he threw him a huge party with the fatted calf and everything. The older brother was upset. When asked by his Father why his countenance was down, he expressed his grievances, saying; my brother prematurely requested his inheritance, then wasteful spent it all, and now has returned, and you threw him a huge party. You never did that for me, and I've been with you this entire time, working and everything. I'm paraphrasing the story, but you get the point. Now let me bring it home.
Like the Father in the story of the "Prodigal Son," parents know their children and which ones need more coddling than others. While this seems like unfair treatment, it is an ingrained instinct to help all your children succeed. With that said, let's talk about how "Special" we consider the one we did not have to coddle and support along the way. Just as in the story of the "Prodigal Son," the Father expressed to his oldest son that he will give everything he has to him; however, we must always celebrate when a wayward person returns home.
We know you, we love you, and we haven't forgotten about you. When you pierce us with your eyes, we hear the silence of your spirit say "What About Me?" and we say: "All that I have will be yours in due season."