Thursday, April 29, 2004

Meanwhile, several months later...

Buses in the U.S. haven't gotten any better in the past fourteen months, mind you. I should, however, provide an updated link to a site that details the bus system in Curitiba.

Although I promised further rants about buses in my last posting, I obviously got diverted and my mind is not on buses today. I am thinking about two of my oldest friends. I had lunch with them today and A. was describing how his children get along. The older child —a boy of approximately eleven years of age— is not very kind to his younger sister (who is approximately eight years of age). Older siblings picking on younger siblings is not exactly news, but what struck me while A. was describing this situation was that all three of us at that table were the youngest children in our respective families. In addition, the fourth person in the tight group we formed during our senior year of high school was also the youngest in her family.

There has been much research on the subject of how where one falls in the birth order in one's family affects one's life and I was familiar with some of these findings. I had never realized, however, that our little band of friends consisted entirely of youngest children. There is perhaps nothing noteworthy about this, but I wonder if somehow our positions as the youngest in our respective families drew us to each other.

I must note that I did marry a woman who was the older of two siblings in her family. She displays much of the determination one often finds in the eldest child. So I am drawn to both like and opposite? As I often find myself concluding, life is a paradox.