“If a firstborn is a company’s CEO, the middle child is the entrepreneur, ” insists Rome Neal of CBS News. I am a firm believer in the influence birth order can potentially play in one’s life; a belief that is continuously reinforced as my three boys get older. My first-born is a people-pleasing, competitive, natural leader. My baby loves a good party and is very manipulative at times. This leaves my creative, independent middle son, Hayden, to play peacemaker between the two.
He has a sweet disposition. He can be quiet and unassuming. But I know he is always thinking; the wheels in his head constantly spinning. He has had unusual passions in his 6 short years: watching cooking shows and wanting to become a chef (which was his costume of choice for Halloween when he was 3), drawing superheros and muscle men complete with 6-pack abs and bulging biceps, and wearing flip-flops, sunglasses, baseball caps, and bow ties (often all at once). His latest obsession is designing cars and watching televised auto auctions. By the time of his sixth birthday he had convinced me, along with his dad and 2 brothers, to: host a lemonade stand, plant a garden, and clean up the nature preserve in the back of our neighborhood. His latest idea is to build a “medium-sized car,” for which he has already drawn up the plans and started collecting items he thinks would make sufficient building materials.
He always reflects and evaluates the profitability and efficiency of each endeavor afterwards, making recommendations on how they could be improved. For instance, the next time he decides to have a lemonade stand in July, he would like to offer watermelon slices, too, because watermelon is a good summertime treat and he could make more money, he reasoned. We harvested our watermelon after it was past its’ prime last summer and he suggested we pick them earlier next year and also plant bananas since we seem to eat them regularly. While looking around at all the people perusing during our last garage sale, he suggested bringing his little table out next time and selling homemade cookies as well.
Yes, he is our idea man. He comes up with the ideas and somehow convinces those around him to dedicate their time, money, and energy to his cause. He even convinced his brothers to give all the money they made at their lemonade stand last summer to “people who don’t have any.” His enthusiasm is infectious and persuasive, indeed.
So now we are on the brink of spring and it is time to tend to the garden that was my middle son’s idea last year. I have bought some seeds and starter plants to put in the ground this weekend. Again we will plant watermelon, tomatoes, and green beans, but we are adding strawberries to the mix this year, along with green, red, yellow, and jalapeno peppers. No banana tree in the plans so far, but I guess there is still time for Hayden to evaluate the situation and state his case to us again.