Birth order can be interesting, especially if you are the youngest. A lot of times your parents are broken in, so by the time the baby comes along, they can get away with much more. The family knows what to worry about more and what they can let slide.
I’m the youngest in my immediate family. My parents noticed very early on in life that I wasn’t someone who needed a lot of people around me to occupy myself. I could entertain myself with paper, a pencil or pen, a stereo and a few records, the radio, a deck of cards, board games, and the good old Atari system. Can’t forget the books. I would put focus into solo activities and often my parents had to yell up to my room to rattle me down for meal times- as I would lose all track of what time it was.
As I got older I spent most of my social time at school or during work related activities. I enjoyed talking music at the dances and parties we deejayed with all of the people who would make requests, and often they would ask questions about the business as they showed an interest in doing what we were doing. Working in a private school cafeteria around many of my peers gave us more time to discuss music, sports and other subjects, driving our cooks crazy as we had to work together to get done and out at the same time.
My youngest daughter in my family has a unique position in life. Within her normal birth order she’s the oldest. In our structure she was adopted second, so currently she’s the youngest. She tells my wife and I that we don’t let her get away with anything. If it were up to her, we would give her everything she wanted and she would be in charge of her life. At 12. Reigning her in to a family structure has been the biggest challenge of our lives. I feel that she gets away with more than my oldest at 15. We are flexible on so many issues because we have to worry about the bigger things like responsibility, telling the truth and respect. We would have no hair and no free time if we had to settle all of her behaviors.
When we are young, we want so badly to be an adult. Funny thing is, I’d rather be a kid right now. I had a great childhood, but knowing what I know now I would have taken more advantage of every free moment that existed. I would establish deeper relationships. I would have risked more. My parents set up a wonderful life for me. They taught me to be independent, and I know it took me awhile to realize the power of working with others in addition to being confident in your own abilities.
No matter where you were born, attempt to stray out of your normal life at least once a week. If you are conservative, pick an area in life where you will do something radical. Look at life from your brother or sister’s frame of reference. Imagine how life would be if you had multiple siblings if you were an only child. The biggest laughs I get around my children are when I seemingly step out of my shell to become goofy and silly- be it singing off key to a song they like and making up new words, or dancing as if I’m having a seizure, or just talking back to them in their own special slang.
You can do anything you want to do with your life- irregardless of whether you are the oldest or youngest. Just know that you can’t take off in a new direction until you take the power of that first step, and then another step, and so on.