Being firstborn in this part of the world has mythic proportions. You inherit not only the family name, but the fortune and all the responsibility for looking after your parents, not only in this life, but in the afterlife as well. The sense of earthly entitlement and an eternity of responsibilty are not conducive to healthy children.

In North America that is less of a problem, although firstborn’s do share some of the same baggage. Expectations and smothering come high on any new parent’s to do list, despite the best of intentions not to go there when you are making preparations for this new entry into your family. Second borns have a much better chance of being normal. Not only are the expectations lower – “s/he is going to learn to talk eventually and then we won’t be able to get him/her to shut up, so what’s the rush?” – but there is the modeling that an older child provides; a much surer teacher than any parent could ever be, no matter how well intentioned.

Our grandaughter, pictured here in her Mommy’s duds, is the perfect example of a second born: bright, lively, outgoing; no sense of entitlement, just happy to take whatever comes her way. With her older brother there to test out everything in advance, she gets to see how it is done before she even knows that she didn’t always know it. Our only problem with this delightful child is that she is 15,000 kilometers away from us and we only get to see her once a year. That is the price we pay for serving the Lord where He has called us. Every once in a while we have a pity-party for ourselves and cry a little.

Today our little girl turns two. We hope that there are no tears on her special day, and that she receives back from others some of the wonderful joy she gives with her innocent loving spirit. Happy Birthday Abi. May God richly bless your young life, and may you grow to know the One who created you to be such a blessing to others.

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