The proper order of things

Child number three is my ‘…and’ child. You know, the one you write last on Christmas and birthday cards, ‘ with love from T, L, P, P and M.’

Somewhere, sometime, it was decreed that we should talk about our families and our children in descending age order. Maybe it’s something to do with history, or a Jane Austen novel at least. Your greetings cards come from the one who’ll inherit the estate, followed by the one destined for the clergy, then the wayward, spirited one after that.

It’s not quite like that in our house, and I’m sure, as and when the time comes, each of our children will have equal shares in the vinyl collection and nobody so far has expressed a calling for the Church. The youngest may indeed live up to the ‘spirited’ tag but hey, there’s nothing wrong with that. But every time I sign our list of names I wonder, is there some significance to being last on the list, or the ‘…and’ child?

I have always been ‘and Lucy’. In my twenties I swapped ‘oldest sibling, older sibling… and Lucy’ for ‘husband… and Lucy’. In fact, I’ve never not had an ‘…and’ in front of my name. I’m not sure how this has shaped me in my life at all – others may have more of an insight into this than me, but I can’t help feeling there is some significance to it. At the very least it puts a pause in front of announcing your name, and maybe lends a little extra gravitas… the family version of ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr Elton John.’

I’m thinking I might start to share that little pause and extra attention around, so if you receive a birthday card from me from,  M, T, P, L and P, then you’ll know I’m trying to share the wealth a little, and give someone else a turn at being an ‘…and’ person for a change.