This week’s Sandbox Writing Challenge is wanting to know (after showing us a picture of an adorable little baby): If you were to give this baby something you lacked early in life, what would it be?
I had to think about that a minute because I certainly had everything I needed to grow into a healthy, loved youngen. At least until I was 6! Aha! There we have it then. If I had to choose something to give this baby that I lacked in early life it would be — SIBLINGS!
I was an ONLY till I was 6. The spoiled rotten, coddled, cosseted, center of everyone’s world. THEN along came my brother Mike. Suddenly I found I had a LOT of competition from the “heir to the throne.” Used to be in England (and maybe other countries as well) that a female could NOT inherit from her father. Well that’s exactly what it felt like. Was I ignored, pushed aside? No, of course not. I just had to learn to share. Six was too old for me to make that adjustment, apparently. (In my own opinion, of course.)
So when we were finally told there would be no more babies for us, that’s one of the main reasons we decided to adopt. We did NOT want to raise Bran as an ONLY. (We miscalculated a little. Waited too long. Bran was 10 when Stef came to us. He had an even BIGGER adjustment to make than I did! Fortunately he took it in stride far better than moi!)
Raising an only child comes with it’s own set of problems. Over-protection being one of the major ones. Doing so much for the child they end up feeling they can’t do anything for themselves comes to mind. We’ve come to realize it’s almost the flip side of the coin when it comes to child abuse — though unintentional. I wouldn’t wish being an only for any child. I would want them to grow up with at least one sibling to bond with. Learning to share is such a big part of socializing. (Even with all the family squabbling that may go along with that — especially LATER in life!)
As I read back through what I wrote, it sounds kind of lame in this day and age when families are becoming smaller (even in Utah!) due to financial strains and busy lives. But I stand by my belief nonetheless! Being an ONLY can be a hard way to grow up. (Yes. Before you yell at me, I KNOW there are ALWAYS exceptions to the rules… 🙂 )
Siblings Fighting over Hamburger — Image by © Anthony Redpath/Corbis / listovative.com