Reflections on Being the Third Child
Baby Fiona was born today. She is the third in her family, like her grandfather. That would be me. Her parents named her Zaynab in between what people will call her and her family name. Zaynab is an historical figure in the history of the Baha’i Faith. She was a village young maiden, who during the time when the newly born Faith of the Bab was being attacked by the Persian government’s army in the area of Zanjan, she decided that she would join the fight to defend her Faith. In those days women were not allowed to be combative soldiers so she dressed herself in men’s clothing and joined the ranks. She became so fearsome that even the very sound of her voice raised in a battle cry would cause the Persian soldiers to flee the battlefield. Such was her courage. Such will be your courage, Fiona Zaynab.
As a third child Fiona Zaynab, you will have some definite advantages. Although Erika and Chris will have high expectations for you, the fact that there are already two others in the family will give you a certain amount of freedom because they just can’t watch over three the way they watch over two. It is a place for your independent mind, for choosing the road less traveled. Being a third child just seems to allow you go your own way, at least it did for me because I always felt a lot of support from the other family members that it was ok to try to do something different. I see you in the first few moments in this new world that you has been born into and then imagine all of the great experiences you will have in doing that for which you have been created, all of the support you will have to be exactly who you are, and all of the history of those family members who have preceded you, ones that you or I have never even known.
Your grandmother and I were a bit surprised when your mother and father decided to have you, the number three child, because much of the world these days rarely goes past two and a country of over a billion has even stopped at one. But the threes have a special gift. You are both in your family and free from it at the same time. You will be free from convention and ready to explore all that is wondrous and new. You will crave the unexplored parts of life even as an addict craves his drugs. It is already so apparent in your complete tranquility, Fiona. You are surrounded in love and support and this will set you free.
I leave you with a prayer for the first days of your life, Fiona, and long for our first of many adventures together. “O Thou most glorious Lord! Make this little maidservant of thine blessed and happy; cause her to be cherished at the threshold of thy oneness, and let her drink deep from the cup of Thy love so she may be filled with rapture and ecstacy and diffuse sweet scented fragrances….”