There are certain experiences in life that only the youngest child will truly understand. If you’re the youngest child, some of your siblings’ friends may never know your first name. You may be the butt of every joke during holidays and reunions. You were both the vulnerable target who was constantly bullied and you were the tattletale that had to run to mom and dad in order to get ahead. No matter what you did, you weren’t “cool”.
There are some definitive characteristics and memories that every youngest child will carry with them until old age and this is because, on many levels, our identities were predetermined. We had someone out there who looked like us, shared our DNA, and preceded us in every literal and most metaphorical aspects. Relationships don’t get much closer than that. But yet, the older sibling was more headstrong, more experienced, and without a doubt (to their knowledge), a lot smarter than us. So we surrender to the stigma and hope it gets better with age. (It probably won’t.)
In a lot of ways, we were the underdogs. And against all odds of that predetermined path, we had to shape our individuality and break away from what was expected of us. But there are some characteristics that we can’t deny, some experiences we all endured one way or the other, and it all boils down to simply being born last.
Forever Being Known (and Treated) As the “Baby” of the Family
Even after you’ve had your own family.
You Prefer Spending Time with People Older Than You
Maybe this shows itself in the people you date, or maybe you gravitate towards older friends, but the youngest sibling most likely identifies with an age group similar to their older siblings'.
Teachers Recognized You Before They Were Your Teachers
Depending on your older brother or sister, this could have been a good thing, or it could have been a not-so good thing.
If it weren’t for the surrender of tattling, who knows how far some of our older brothers and sisters would have taken it. We aren’t proud of it, but tattling was often our only defense.