For all those unaware, I come from a family of ten, eight children, six girls and two boys. So for all of you who complain about having 'middle child syndrome' and the lack of attention which accompanies this position, it's safe to say being the very middle child of eight, I was neglected! Although I can honestly say growing up were some of the best (and worse) days of my life. As with every family we all have our ups and downs, the good the bad and the ugly (not mentioning any names for the purpose of this blog). As with a house of eight, we were rarely bored and always found a way to amuse ourselves, whether dressing up our younger brothers as girls, or acting out shows in our garage in front of an audience of our neighbours, there was never a dull moment.
Thinking back on it now, it's my parents I pity for all the trauma we caused them throughout the years ( and of course that of which we still cause! ). Then again perhaps it was the babysitters who got the worst of it .. Throughout the years we went through at least ten different babysitters, if not more, and I'm not surprised as the older siblings seemed to have a habit of locking the babysitters out of the room, with the sole aim of teaching them a 'life-long lesson' and testing to see how they would attempt to get back in the room.
Throughout the years of endless tears, tantrums, laughter and taunting you quickly learnt not to be too sensitive if you were going to survive the teasing amongst the family, for instance, when going through a 'slight' chubby phase, I was denoted the name 'Heather' as I now apparently resembled an obese character from the television programme Eastenders. But then again I suppose I escaped lightly enough, as we spent the majority of one of my sister's childhood attempting to convince her she was in fact adopted from China, and she would be going back to her real family soon. Whether teasing each other, or wrecking the house playing 'one-touch' with a large exercise ball in the living room ( we've lost count of the endless amount of windows broke and damage done), we never failed to drive my parents craiced!
But just as the good times come in a family, so too do the bad, many of which caused by fights within the house, which was quite often the case with us. Through the years, there was one of us pushed off a wall by the other, one had a brick thrown at their head, another hit in the head by my brother with a hurley, and further broken bones, not to mention the endless locking each other out of the house (which failed to stop even after my brother smashed one of the glass panels beside the front door in attempt to get back in).
However despite all the fights and traumatic moments, the tears and the tantrums, it is these I look back at and laugh. Yes often a time we were quite disfunctional as a family, and often still are, but in my opinion it is these things which make us family, these things which define our identity, we may not be perfect or even normal for that matter, but we're family, and at the end of the day that's all that matters.