After writing about middle children yesterday I considered my family of six sweaters. As siblings, do they have classic birth-order personalities? Of course they do!
No.1. Oldest sister is a responsible overachiever, very classy (Andrea Moore). A perfectionist but a softie (cashmere and merino), hard-working (at work nearly every cold day). Caring for others, or at least just me. And the oldest, purchased yea this many a long year ago. Thoughtful in every way. A peacemaker. All these factors match the traditional personality of the first born child.
No.2. Second-born longs unsuccessfully for attention from her owner (me). A gifted mathematician, quite symmetrical. Sometimes feels undervalued and left out. A little unsure of her identity: she was the youngest sweater for a while, then the middle sweater, but now — what? The second sweater? Looks a bit like big sister yet is under-appreciated. She feels (correctly) that she is like a spare royal, on the bench for when big sister gets too old and shabby. Bursting with original ideas. Has decided to leave the family home in search of more interesting people.
No.3. The first of the middle sweaters. A home-made hotch-potch of one cheap boring blue sweater and one shrunken cousin of the glorious No.1 sweater. Merino, of course. Colourful and original if glimpsed in the wild. Confidently struts its stuff in public, but mostly prefers being the observer. Some may consider it bonkers but are too polite to say so. Openly rebels against convention but is friendly, creative, and happy.
No.4. The second middle sweater. A strong, warm, companionable outdoor sweater of homespun wool. Makes many friends. A sociable, hospitable, intelligent sweater, which tickles but does not threaten. Safe, most of the time. Modest about its undoubted creativity. Hint of people pleaser. Hint of rebellion. Yes, all these sweaters so far pass the birth order personality test.
No.5. Another woollen hand-knitted middle sweater, this time with a wild neckline. Brightly coloured, a rapid achiever, versatile and practical. There is no other sweater like this in the entire world. Distinctly odd, a happy genius, has hundreds of admirers. Aesthetically rebellious. Check, check, check.
No.6. The youngest sweater and new favourite. Spoiled and flattered. Adventurous, unexpected, yet non-threatening. Warm and hospitable. Larger than necessary (because of scoring more ice-creams as a child) but carries it off in great style. Colourful, confident, and peripatetic (goes anywhere and everywhere, especially all the fancy places). Has been compared to an eye test for colour blindness.
The above analysis has demonstrated that this one family of sweaters follows the birth-order personality profiles to a tee.
PS. Believe it or not, this stuff is not actually scientific. I just made it up. I’m an old poet and a middle child: a deadly combination so what did you expect?
PPS. We never called them sweaters. They used to be called jerseys or jumpers, and our mother knitted six new cute and stylish jerseys every winter for me and my true siblings.Follow Write Into Life