I’m a middle child, and, over the years, people have asked me how I managed to get noticed. After all, my older sister was the (almost) perfect “Marcia Brady,” and my younger sister was “the baby” who could do no wrong.
The real lessons, however, on how to stand out, came from my extended family, sprinkled across New Jersey and New York.
I didn’t truly understand how “different” we were until I had children of my own. My “kids”—now 25 and 23—asked me questions when they were younger that most parents DON’T hear:
I’ve been incredibly...