Consider that the family is the cell, the basic unit of society, and usually it’s the first-born girl who’s helping to hold it all together.
In Filipino families especially, the Big Sister (“Ate” is the proper honorific) is second in command when it comes to household management and child care. She’s expected to give a good example and make all the younger ones toe the line. In exchange for these awesome responsibilities, the Ate wields power and commands respect – sometimes even fear. (My younger brothers still flinch when I make any sudden moves in their direction.) At the same time, I also enjoy the pleasure and the privilege of being my siblings’ confidante, counselor, and – now that we’re all adults – their friend.
I think there should be a First Born Girls Appreciation Day, don’t you?
I’m reading a book called The First Born Advantage by Dr. Kevin Leman, who has done extensive studies as to how our birth order affects our lives and personalities. Dr. Leman has such a great appreciation for the strengths and abilities of the firstborn child, yet also has great insights about our potential weaknesses. I like his encouraging, positive tone, and practical suggestions as to how we first-borns can change some of our attitudes and habits in order to be even stronger and happier.
In the book he also features a group called the First Born Girls Social Club, an interesting and vibrant group of first born women “dedicated to discovering, sharing and celebrating the unique contribution that first born girls make to the world!” Sounds like fun – I think I just might join!
“People refer to us as bossy, but we are number one on speed dial if someone is in crisis or wants a project done to tight specifications. We know how to take charge and move through work. We know what to say and do to solve the problem. It comes naturally to us. It’s what we’ve been primed to do since day one. The firstborn’s slogan is: ‘I’ll take care of that for you.’…
“Responded to voices in the womb. Walked at 6 months. Spoke in complete sentences before age 1….Inspiration for three photo albums by age 8….
“You are pretty, smart, talented, and wise beyond your years.
“You love and are loved. You do everything and you do it well.
“If this is your history, then you are a firstborn girl.”
~ Laura Carter, founder of the First Born Girls Social Club