I am the youngest of seven children. I like being number seven. For a lot of reasons.
My siblings would probably say I was spoiled while growing up. The youngest always is. I would say this is true, with an asterisks. I simply had the longest “stint” as the youngest kid. They all had their moment in the sunshine… spoiled rotten youngest kid… until the next one came along. And then the party was over. I detect a little note of resentment when they remind me of this “youngest-child-spoiled-factor.” (Geez. Look at the photos. I am wearing a bunch of Rag-Tag-Hand-Me-Downs.)
But that isn’t the part I like about being the youngest of seven kids. Seven is a good number. It may be the best. There are seven days in a week, Seven Wonders of the World, Seven Dwarfs, the Seven Sisters, Shakespeare’s Seven Ages of Man, and the Seven Levels of Hell, Seven Days of Creation… and let’s not forget… Buddha walked 7 steps at his birth.
Seven colors in the rainbow, the Seven Seas, seven continents, the Seven Kings of Rome, Seven-Up, 7-11 Stores, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and of course…007.
But that isn’t the part I like about being number seven in our line of the family. I like it because I am grateful for all of my siblings. I love each and every one.
All of them, have taught me very important life lessons, some of which, I am still learning. Some of these things, I found out very early in life and they were quite formidable. The first five years of a child’s life are fundamentally important. They are the foundation that shapes children’s future health, happiness, growth, development, learning achievement, and life in general. Each of those six elders were a part of this, no doubt. Teachers, then, of sorts.
As we grow older, I am more close with some than others. And they continue to teach me. All of them, really.
I don’t think I would have liked being an only child. There is just something very wonderful about knowing that special brother, or sister, is right there. In your life. A phone call away. A photo away… a text… an email.
None of them are right next door, which may account for a lot of these feelings of good will. That was a joke.
But I know this. I am fortunate to have them in my life. It is always better when I’ve had “that” moment with them… that good time together.
My sisters, my brothers, my teachers, and my friends.
“You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.”
― Galileo Galilei
“[Kids] don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.”
― Jim Henson, It’s Not Easy Being Green: And Other Things to Consider