The Middle Child


I was the eldest of the three Green children. Leslie was the middle child, and Marcia the “baby”. However, more than a few people who have assumed that SHE is the eldest because she’s much more outgoing, while I have always been bookish, keeping to a far fewer number of friends and associates than she has.

She really enjoyed being the only girl/the younger for the four years that she was, until she wasn’t. This led to all sorts of odd sisterly stuff that I tried to stay out of but would inevitably get sucked into. (One date in particular: March 12, 1995). I got along with both sisters most of the time, especially Leslie, with whom I sang with our father. Yet about once a year she’d goad me so much that I’d get really angry and some unfortunate outcome would take place. (When she was about 12, and I was 13, she and her friend Bonnie kept opening the bathroom door while I was sitting on the toilet – there was no lock – and I was trying to keep the door shut with my arm or leg; the end result was a broken bathroom mirror.)

I realized long ago that if I don’t have a strong opinion about something Leslie cares about, I tended to cede to her position. That was not the case, though, when she wanted to bury our father in a casket but the rest of us preferred cremation. The tension over that lasted a couple years.

Meanwhile, Leslie seems to have drawn closer to Marcia, as they both deal with my mother. (I do too, but Marcia lives with my Mom and Leslie is currently looking for a job, having been laid off after 18 years working for Long’s Drug Store after it got bought out by CVS.)

One of the good things about the last trip to Charlotte was, frankly, listening to Leslie kvetch about the CD that her church put out – she is on its music Praise and Worship team. Her name was misspelled as Lesley – thrice. I was going to plug the CD but can’t find the particulars. Did, though, find this YouTube video about the church.

Another highlight, oddly, came from watching TV. Lydia, my five-year-old, is watching Wonder Pets, which I admit to liking myself (Just saw “The Wonder Pets Save the Beetles”, which was full of Liverpudlian puns.) Turns out that Alex, Marcia’s 18-year-old, remembers Wonder Pets fondly. Then Rebecca, Leslie’s 30-year-old calls (or is called by her mother); come to find out, much to Leslie’s surprise and chagrin, that Rebecca and her husband Rico ALSO are big fans of Wonder Pets. Leslie watched and actually sussed out its charms.

So, it’s Leslie’s birthday, and even though she occasionally makes me crazy (and you don’t know the half of it), I still love her very much.
***
For all you folks in the San Diego area, here our the upcoming dates for Rebecca’s group, Siren’s Crush.
July 24th-Valley View Casino
July 31st-Valley View Casino
Aug 7th-Valley View Casino
Aug 8th-Viejas Dreamcatcher
Aug 21st-Viejas V-Lounge
Aug 28-Valley View Casino
Also, they have been asked to perform at a “VERY exciting event coming up on Sept 26th” in which they will be “opening up for Teena Marie, Lisa Lisa and some other favorite Old School artists for Magic 92.5 and Viejas Casino! This event is free and for the whole family!”
Click on this link for more information.

ROG

0 thoughts on “The Middle Child”

  1. Hi Raji,I read your blog this morning, and it struck a chord. Since I'm the middle of three daughters (and apparently the "responsible one" since my parents are gone), I fully understand these conversations. I've had similar talks with my younger sister, who is chronically stressed with low self-esteem to boot. Lib had a bad marriage where she was emotionally abused for 16 years, but she has two great kids who I wouldn't trade for anything (and you know how I feel about kids). One conversation I particularly remember is the April after Dad died, when the three of us were in Syracuse (Patrick being in Iraq) to go through our family things. I made an offhand remark upon arriving that there were all kinds of dolphins in my room (dolphins being my niece's favorite mammal, my room destined to become hers in a few months, since they moved in) and what was that? The next day at 7AM the phone rang, with my sister on the other end spouting all kinds of stuff about "wanting her kids to feel secure" and "this behavior has to stop" and "I need support from my family." I talked her down, as is the function of the middle, responsible child, but it made me sad that there was (yetanother) 40-something woman who couldn't direct her anger onto the appropriate party. I've had several such conversations with her since, and I don't think it's going to stop any time soon (mostly because she has hooked up with someone who is, on many levels, the same kind of person as my ex-brother-in-law. History repeats). So I persevere.Took a long time to get here, but that being said….these incidents and conversations are part and parcel of being a part of family. You and Carol came to parenthood late, and I think that might be coming into play here. Lydia is a lovely girl, and I truly look forward to meeting her sometime soon. And that's the important thing — that Lydia is a lovely girl, and in your eyes, "pretty." I don't know which of your sisters made the remark, but I think I can guess…and Raji, just let it go. There was no "malice aforethought," just a gut reaction. And yours is the same. In the end, they're your sisters, and Lydia's aunts, and that's what matters.I do miss you guys, every day —

    Like

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