Yesterday the oldest sister and the littlest sister switched places. Just for the day. Our baby sister (who isn't really a baby anymore at eight years old) with her sparkling eyes, bouncy curls and sunny personality had been overheard telling people she "hated being the youngest of 14 kids"
When questioned why she would hate it, she always replied, "Cause everybody bosses me, and I don't get to boss anybody!"
EDIT: (We thought this dynamic might change when we got chickens, because at least she got to boss them, but when the chickens started dying, well....)
So for that reason, the youngest and the oldest traded jobs. With (much) assistance, the youngest was sent to the office to do the payroll for the family business, was assigned to plan the menu, arrange the household chores and prepare the dinner. We all thought it would be appropriate to balk and complain when asked to help, but the giggles and grins were hard to hide.
By the end of the day the littlest was frustrated and overtired. I asked her what she thought about being the youngest of 14 now, and she hesitated before telling me that she thought it was okay.
"Then why are you crying?"
"Nobody knows who I am now!" she wailed, burying her head in my shoulder.
"Of course we know who you are! You wanna know why you're frustrated?"
The curls bobbed up and down, indicating an affirmative answer.
"Well, you know that toy that our little nephew has with the different shaped holes, and the blocks that fit in it?"
She recognized the toy, even though my description was lacking.
"Do you ever notice how hard he tries to fit the wrong blocks into the holes, and how frustrated it makes him? God made you the shape of who you are for a reason, and trying to fit your shape into another shaped hole is only going to make you frustrated!"
I'm not sure if she got the analogy, but I sure did. I try so hard to be someone I'm not. Today I'm going to be thankful for who I am. Life works better that way.