Sunday, November 24, 2013

Only Child

Since the day I lost my twins I mourned not only for my loss, but for my daughter's loss.  She lost a brother and sister that she would never even get to meet.  I had imagined so much for the three of them.  The twins and Gwenevere would have been almost exactly two years apart, and Gwenevere would get two siblings in one shot, not an opportunity that most of us get.  I figured that with two new siblings in the mix she would have been able to build a lifelong close relationship with at least one of them, hopefully both of them.

Growing up I was an only child to my parents for nine years.  To be perfectly honest, I loved it.  Although, by the time I was eight years old and my parents told me that I was going to be a big sister I was thrilled.  I couldn't wait to have a baby in the house, hopefully a sister.  To my delight, three months after my ninth birthday we welcomed a baby girl into our family.  Anna was adorable, but not much fun in the beginning.  There was lots of crying, much less attention for me and not much sisterly bonding.  There were fun times too, eventually.  Helping her eat, giving her baths, playing with her as she got older.  Now as an adult I can't imagine my life without my wonderful sister.  She has grown up into an amazing, strong, intelligent, witty woman and I love her.

While I want Gwenevere to have a sibling to share memories with and build a lifelong friendship with that is not enough of a reason for me to have another child.  In fact there is no guarantee that she will even like any other children we have.  Our next kid could be a real dick, you never know.  Most of my friends have at least one sibling.  Some have wonderful relationships, others dread having to see their siblings at family get togethers.  Just because you have the same parents doesn't mean you are going to be best friends.  Having spent half of my childhood as an only child and half as a sister I can say that it's pretty fun both ways.

I just wish our society didn't place such a stigma on the only child.  Yes, it is wonderful to have someone in your family that you have shared experiences with.  Someone that is tied to you for life.  But isn't it also wonderful to have a childhood filled with undivided parental love?  Never having to share a bedroom or babysit for free.  The role of the only child is drastically underrated in our society.  

I don't know how long Gwenevere will enjoy the role of only child.  But I am confident that for now she is thriving.