I’m an only child.
There are benefits and drawbacks to being born “the only”. All the typical stereotypes apply.
I have my mother’s undivided attention, the proverbial world revolved around me and yes, I did grow up a touch self absorbed.
On the flip side, all the pressure’s on me. There are no other siblings to disperse the parental expectations or the parental whining. That one’s not so bad, but the part that stings a bit is that being “the only” means when my mother passes my childhood sort of stops. It will not live on through stories I share with my brothers and sisters. There will no longer be conversations that start with “Remember when we used to…” It’s just me and my thoughts, my memories.
My history can live on in the stories I tell my husband and my children, but when she’s gone, there will be no one else that was an actual witness to my life as a child.
On the surface it’s sad. The reason you hear people say, “Oh, I don’t want her to be an only child.” As if it’s some sort of plague. Always makes me laugh because the next question the person usually asks me is, “So how many are in your family?” Ooops, foot in mouth.
In reality, everyone has upsides and downsides to their childhood. The key seems to be appreciating the upside and not allowing the downside to hold you back. I was given the gift of an incredible mother. She will not be here forever and when she goes, it’s true, I will be alone. But I am “the only” one that has the extreme pleasure of calling her “Mom” while she’s here.
I am who I am because I’m “the only” so even though I often wonder what it would be like to have a handsome and teasing older brother or a fashion forward sister, I can’t change it and to do so would change me.
Wow, look how many times I say “me” or “I” in this post. Typical only child.
My thoughts from the laundry room. One pillow’s enough.