11 Jan 2013

January 11th

What makes a person the way they are? Pretty broad question. Is it life experiences or were we born with our personalities intact? My husband and I were both the first children in our families. Two sisters were born after me, and he had one younger brother.
Me: I'm an eternal optimist, a Pollyanna. I spent most of my youth encouraging those around me and creating plays and dances to keep them amused--a trait I use now in novel-writing. At the tender age of seven, I learned that my father had left my mother. Although unhappy, I coped in my own way when he took me to stay with his new wife for weekends. My sisters didn't fare so well; one became rebellious towards him, and he picked on the youngest until she no longer joined us. I remember a time when my middle sister refused to eat her meal in their beautifully decorated dining room. He said, You must and you will eat it. She picked up a handful of meat and gravy and flung it at him. The food landed on the red flock wallpaper and slid down the surface.
My husband: A natural leader, he grew up in London during the war. At the tender age of four, he would take his brother on train trips to what he thought was the country. Don't ask me why the conductor allowed two young boys to travel on their own. He learned to cook during the air raids. His mother worked as a bus conductress and his father was away at the war. As a five-year-old, he would prepare the meal and have it ready for his mother to heat up when she returned at night. To this day, he makes lists, shops, and cooks wonderful meals during our retirement.
The way people turn out could be their position in the family. Only Children have a hard time and are used to certain reactions when they meet new people. A new study has just been released about the traits of children born after 1979 after China's One Child policy began. They found the children were less trusting, less trustworthy and less competitive, but more pessimistic. Needless to say, China is thinking of reversing the ruling.


  1. I find this so fascinating! Like you, I'm the eldest (of 2 girls) and my parents divorced. I coped with it and feel it made me more independent, whereas my sister is still getting over it now, in a way. However, we were very different from birth, completely different personalities. I find the whole subject incredibly interesting. Thanks for a great blogpost.

  2. I think it's a combination of both--your personality tendencies at birth and environment. Oh, and where you are in the sibling line up, if you have any. I am the oldest and was taking care of my brother and sister when they were both in diapers (I was 5 or 6). I am also an eternal optimist. Never stay down for long. Interesting post. :)


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