Saturday, November 04, 2006

Middle Child Syndrome?

I am so unlike everyone in my family - in certain ways at least. If I didn't look like my mother's younger twin (but not much younger because my mom's still practically a baby), I'd think I was adopted. And if I didn't have her silliness and my dad's stubbornness and this matching lone freckle that me and my two brothers all have on our arms. If it weren't for all them genetics I'd be seriously wondering (and possibly checking the milkman's arm for a lone freckle).

Maybe it's because I'm the middle child. Maybe it's because of that stubbornness I inherited from Dad. Maybe it's because I studied the liberal arts. Or maybe I had a traumatic experience as a child that altered my sense of reality. Or it could be all those head injuries I accrued growing up (I can think of about four off the top of my head).

I'm nothing like my family in politics. My parents used to (affectionately?) dub me 'their little Democrat'. To be precise, I am not a Democrat and never have been. Neither have I ever been a Republican. I remember the first time I was old enough to vote. I had no idea that you voted for all the different local officials on the ballots too. I asked my dad how one is able to know all the issues each person on the ballot stands for. His response? 'Ya just go down the page and tick the R's.' Oh, I see, thanks!

Maybe I got that cute little nickname because I used to argue with them about the war in Afghanistan. Or maybe because I once accidentally said in front of them that Bill Clinton did a few things well. Or it might have been the fact that I didn't vote for Bush last time around. (And again, to be precise, I didn't vote for Kerry either. I actually intended to vote for the Constitutional party candidate, Michael Peroutka, but being overseas, I didn't manage to get my absentee ballot ordered in time.)

I'm also different in other, smaller, less argument-inducing ways. (I now just try to leave politics out of all conversations whenever possible.) I've also been (affectionately?) dubbed the 'little hippie'. I think this was in response to a peasant skirt I once owned when I was about 20 pounds lighter and living on cold Eureka Pizza. But it has escalated to my 'tree-hugging' and natural health and family planning ideals. And I, of course, was the weird one who moved out of the country (but it wasn't to avoid the draft, I promise!) And speaking of draft, I may be the daughter of a military man - and the sister of one too - but I'm soooo not into it. Though I will make the occasional pro-Air Force joke when surrounded by members of other branches of the armed forces (ie, The Air Force do the flying, the Army do the dying).

I must say though, in defense of my absolutely wonderful family, we all agree on one thing (with the possible exception of one of my brothers) - we're all Calvinists. At least they've got that right!

I don't say any of this to insult my family. I think I have the best family in the world. We're all very close and are there for each other. I'm totally proud of both of my brothers and think they have amazing wives, my aunts and uncles are all great and supportive and my parents did an incredible job of raising us all to feel loved, special, smart and independent. I see myself, as a mum-to-be, agreeing with a lot of my parents' parenting choices now, and I know I will look to them for guidance and advice and as role models.

It's just somewhere along the line, I realised they're all crazy. And I diverted away from the craziness. Though they'd say the exact opposite.

This post brought to you by my realisation that my pharmacist brother will probably faint if I decide not to vaccinate my children. And the need to blog something when I actually have nothing to blog about.

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