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The only child. The middle child. The child in the crowd.

Families fascinate me. My mom was an only child. As the ‘one and only’ she had opportunities for travel, education and sports. She could have become very spoiled but she did not become entitled.

My dad had three brothers and three sisters. The children spent a lot of time sharing beds, arguing over chores and rushing to the dinner table to ensure they could fill up before the meal disappeared.

Two different childhoods. Two different experiences.

My parents had three children. I am the eldest and I have a brother and sister.

When I was growing up on various Air Force bases across Canada, many of the families that we knew had four or five children. That seemed to be the norm. Now, for the most part the only place you see large families is on reality shows.

As a writer, if I create a large family for a novel then I have endless possibilities. There’s always the high achiever, the kids that struggle, the loner etc. But above all of that, there is an opportunity for me to dig deeper. An opportunity to leap-frog over the stereotypes and create people that are intriguing and offer the reader something different.

I live for those moments when I’ve created a unique character who has a passion for something unexpected. I want to invent the hero or heroine who hears the different beat of a drum.

That’s why I’m having fun with ‘The Coopers’ my latest series. The Cooper clan consists of four brothers and three sisters. Lots of plot lines, lots of challenges and heartache.

What about you? Are you the only? Are you part of the crowd, as in many brothers or sisters? How has that shaped you and your life?

Would love to hear from you.

 

8 Comments

  1. Hi Jodie,
    I’m the middle child of six siblings, 4 girls, 2 boys. It is different being in the middle. I can certainly see how the oldest functions differently, and the different expectations for the youngest. Great stuff,
    Sylvie

    1. Ah – the child in the middle. It’s so interesting to hear the perspective of each child once they reach adulthood. What resonates with one child, is a mere blip for another child. When I get a chance to chat with my sister and brother it’s always interesting to listen to what had an impact on them. Thanks for dropping by.

  2. I’m a hybrid in the family order thing. I’m one of four, three brothers, but I’m an only girl. I experienced the expectations of being an “only” as well as the rough and tumble of getting my time in the bathroom.

    1. Wow! Being the only girl! So very unique. You must have learned a lot about young men. I suspect that it made you stronger. Thanks for adding to the conversation.

  3. Interesting subject, Jodie. I’m the middle child, with an older sister and a younger brother. I feel fortunate because I was able to get close to them both whereas they still have a hard time relating to each other.

    1. I think that my sister feels the same way as you Mimi. She’s confident connecting with me or my brother. I have to ensure that I find time to communicate with the youngest in the family, my brother. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

  4. My father was in the RCAF too and we moved frequently–every three years and sometimes more often. We thought it might be because there were only two kids. Even the priest at one base came and visited to find out if anything was wrong. There wasn’t. Just a little birth control.

    1. Wow! Those frequent moves are staggering. Guess a family of four is cheaper to move around then larger families. You have to wonder at the thinking though. Very hard on the parents and the kids. I didn’t mind the constant moving until I reached high-school and then I hated it. Such memories. Thanks for connecting.

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