My husband and I both come from families of three (and same-sex families of three at that). The nice thing about three... it is well-defined with a beginning, a middle, and an end. The bad thing... it is well-defined. Many scholars have studied birth order and its effect on the family and the individual. What I find interesting is how often you hear the term "middle child syndrome" versus talking about first or last borns. My husband and sister would agree they felt lost in the shuffle.
Then I realized I could tie this into reading. Actually I've found I can tie just about anything back to reading or writing, but I digress. I enjoy series, but almost always note the second book syndrome in a trilogy. This happened for me in the Twilight (okay, second book of four), Hunger Games and City of Bones series. So maybe there's some validity to lost in the shuffle. The first book lands the author the series commitment, so it needs to be stellar and attention-grabbing. The second book usually fills in story to prepare the reader for the thrilling conclusion of the third book. It's sad, because the second book can keep me from continuing the series. I devoured Hunger Games, but Catching Fire lacked the spark to propel me to the third which is collecting dust in my to-read pile.
A lesson can be learned by both parents and writers: give special love to your second baby and make sure they don't feel lost or neglected. I know I strive to do this with my beautiful second daughter, Reagan. Of course, it helps to have both my sister and husband constantly reminding me.
A special shout-out to all who find themselves in the middle. It can truly be a special place, especially if you make sure people see you.
|Here I am with my sister, Tara|
|My middle daughter, Reagan|
|My two middles, husband Ed & Reagan|