Thoughts on birth order, or "Why my oldest is screwed".
I am the youngest. In many ways, being the youngest rocks. Your parents finally have money by the time you're old enough to care, you've seen the many pitfalls your older siblings have gone through, but most of all, your parents have seen it all, and so they are usually much more relaxed about which rules to enforce, and which rules simply don't matter. On the other hand, you wish there was someone that you could beat on, you get tired of the hand-me-downs, and occasionally there is an older sibling that goes to a certain city, and gets in major trouble in that city, and then when YOUR senior trip comes around, you are not allowed anywhere NEAR said city, even though you would be going with half of the seminary council, and have never given your parents ANY reason not to trust you at all! Not that I'm bitter or anything. But the setbacks are minor, and the benefits far outweigh the pitfalls. I believe that the oldest child is the "guinea pig" child. For example, it didn't occur to my parents that a teenage girl with an outside door attached to her room, sleeping on the main level, while everyone else was sleeping upstairs, was a problem. The tales of her sneaking out are legendary. My parents had no idea she was spending many of the wee hours of the morning on the beach alone with her boyfriend. I'm guessing they would have been against that. By the time I was dating, my parents bedroom window, when open, could hear everything that ever happened on the doorstep. They wised up. I spent hours working on the ABC's with my oldest. My second knew them without my having taught her anything. Either she absorbed them out of the air, or her sister taught her. My oldest is constantly asking me questions, like "What is war?" while my second proudly shows off her ability to make her own cinnamon toast. I never knew she even knew what the toaster was. My girls play 'school' with the oldest teaching the younger about lowercase letters. Essentially, my oldest is raising her two younger siblings, and doing a wonderful job. So, I am not worried about my younger two nearly as much as I am about my oldest. I don't know yet which rules will save her from eternal damnation, and which ones will cause her to rebel, thereby causing her own eternal damnation. I don't know what's a big deal and what isn't, at least not yet. Mostly, I don't know at which age to introduce which concept, so as not to scar her for life. Basically, I decided, I am not saving for her college education, I am saving for her therapy bills. I guess mostly I just need to teach her about forgiveness, so she can forgive me for all the mistakes I made as she grew toward adulthood. Hopefully my younger ones can forgive me, too, because they're not out of the woods, either.