I am the youngest of six children. There is a substantial gap between myself and my siblings. Three of them were out of high school when I was born. Often I am asked if I was a mistake, which for the record is kind of rude and everyone should stop saying that. Unplanned is a better way to ask the question without implying that someone's existence should not be. Anyway, according to my mother, I was not unplanned. But unplanned or not, my birth, according to The Birth Order Book by Kevin Leman, started a new family. In his book Leman states that after a seven year gap without children being born, a new family begins. Thus according to his research, my behavior is more similar to an only child rather than one raised with five siblings.
I am closest in age to my sister Gwendolyn, who is just eleven years older than me. The next closest in age is Paul whose lap I'm sitting on in the picture. As I grew my siblings moved away to various locations around the country. My parents took me as we traveled around the country to visit them. We went to Pennsylvania then Arizona to see Sandy, New Jersey then Virginia to visit Dana, Chicago to visit Paul and Robert, and Northern Michigan to visit Gwendolyn who eventually moved to the Chicago area. I am leaving out their spouses and children here to make things simpler, but our family is wonderfully large.
My mother did many admirable things for me as I grew up, but there are two that stand out as life altering and which I see as immensely influential in my life.
You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be --
I had a Mother who read to me.
"A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one."