There’s no two ways about it. If alive today, Elva would make a fascinating case study for those in the field of birth order psychology.
As the second of three children and also the only girl, her position in the Blacker family led to a life time of emotional conflict and knowing what I do about her, I have found it all to easy to associate her with the negative connotations of “middle child syndrome”.
The briefest of internet searches suggests that victims of this ‘syndrome’ are resentful or negative in nature, lack ambition, creativity and confidence and more depressingly, are doomed for a life of loneliness and underachievement. It’s a pretty bleak stereo type and although some of them certainly apply, my research has led me to the more positive ideas of Katrin Schumann and Catherine Salmon in their book, The Secret Powers of Middle Children.
Rebuffing the negativity associated with being a middle child, Schumann and Salmon argue that far from being ‘embittered wallflowers’, middle children often embody leadership skills, social dexterity and independence, are less likely to conform to social ideals; and far from lacking ambition, can be highly motivated, with their efforts simply being directed towards more political or philanthropic activities.
This is definitely a more accurate of description of the Elva I have come to know and over the course of time I hope to wow my readers with her adventures, achievements and philanthropic activities.