Middle Ground: A Heartwarming Story from a Middle Child

February 12th, 2013 posted by Casey Fletcher

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That early morning in the bustling, congested airport was the first day of the rest of my life. There were five of us including my mom, my dad, my older brother, my younger sister, and me. My mom, as always, was the only one who seemed to be enthusiastic about this trip. My dad and my brother Jamie seemed bored and uninterested. Always full of energy and cheerful, Laurie, the nine-year-old baby of the family, bounced around among us aggravating us even more. We were arguing already and we hadn’t even left yet. My parents were more concerned over who forgot to pack what, than they were about the real issue that was taking place. How were we going to survive this family trip to Prince Edward Island?

As Jamie and Laurie proceeded to fight over who was going to get the window seat on the plane, and my parents continued to point fingers, I was sitting lost in the middle. That was probably the best explanation of my life so far. Always the middle child, lost in the confusion, and now more than ever. It was a time of growing up and experiencing new things. It was the struggle between childhood and adolescence. Jamie had already been through it and out the other side, while Laurie was still quite young and naive in her own little world of colouring books and paper dolls. Where was I? I was caught in between as usual. Little did I know that the adventure we were about to embark on would change my life. I would finally grow up and face a whole new world.

The plane ride was torture. I was thousands of feet off the ground with no escape from the constant questions, poking and noises of my family. Slowly things began to get better. We arrived in the hot, summer sunshine in an entirely different province. As we

breathed in the fresh Canadian air, we could smell the salty ocean and sandy beaches that awaited us. In our newly rented car, we drove along a winding, bumpy dirt road lined with towering, leafy trees. As we approached the two story rented farm house, we were all ready to jump out of the car and lug our bags and belongings inside. As I gazed up at the beautiful, old house among the trees and wilderness, the idea of spending two weeks with just my family on a secluded island, far away from Toronto, started to grow on me.

After one night in that magical house, all of my nervous thoughts from the airport disappeared. The new atmosphere and endless possibilities brought excitement and adventure to our boring lives. My siblings and I tried all kinds of seafood for the first time and we relished in the delight of new tastes and textures. A trip across the whole island took us to a light house where we stood on the very edge of P.E.I. My sister and I enjoyed visiting the Anne of Green Gables house the most but even my brother liked the ice cream and famous sights tour. My parents were happy that we were all getting along at last.

Exploring every inch of our new found paradise, changed our attitudes towards each other. My annoying, spoiled sister turned into a cuddly, bouncy, lovable child filled with curiosity and wonder. I found myself explaining to her the sound that sea shells make and why lobsters turn red when they’re boiled. My older brother who had been too busy for me in the past, turned into my role model and I looked up to him in a new light. He no longer saw me as a nuisance and for the first time in what seemed like ages, I felt accepted by him. I realized that being in the middle was just fine.

Near the end of our vacation, we took one last trip to the beach close to our house. This beach will be cemented in my memory forever. It’s the place I go to in my mind when everything is going wrong. The image of this magnificent stretch of sand reminds me that there are times when everything can go right. On this particular day, we weren’t thinking about going home. We were living in the moment. Laughing and playing in the hot, grainy sand, we slid down the sand dunes and raced along the water’s edge. We were smiling into the shining sun and dancing in the salty, oceans spray. Winding rivers of water surrounded the best sand castles on the beach. The sand castles that we built together.

As the sun started to set, we realized that we were the only family left on the beach. It was time to build a bonfire. We gathered drift wood from the beach and I grabbed blankets as Laurie found the food from the car. Each of us helped out getting everything ready. My dad showed us how to kneel and light the logs on fire. My mom passed around napkins and drinks while my brother handed us each a stick for roasting. As we held our hot dogs over the flames of the fire, the light flickered over our happy, freckled faces. It was the best meal of our vacation.

Among the s’mores and ghost stories, I snuggled down between my mom and my sister. I gazed up at the blinking night time stars and thought to myself. Amidst all the chaos and confusion of growing up, I would always have my loving family to hold onto for support. I gave a little sigh of relief and the waves lapped softly on the white sand. That night, in the quiet and calmness of the darkened beach, we were the only family in the whole world.

Casey Fletcher (1 Posts)

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Cindy Rowe
Cindy Rowe (7 Posts)

Cindy Rowe is the owner/editor of Crazylou Creations blog. On the blog, you will find a little bit of crazy, and a whole lot of fun! As a FT working mother, she still finds time to create crafts, play around in the kitchen, plan parties and exercise. You'll find all of this and more on her blog!

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