April 10, 2015

National Sibling Day for An Only Child


National Sibling Day

She stopped asking for a brother or sister. It’s been years since she’s said anything, really. But when she was little, every once in awhile BabyGirl would look at me and ask. After a few times I’m sure she knew the answer but she’d ask anyway.

Evidently April 10th is National Sibling Day. Most likely some new social media holiday because I don’t ever remember hearing about it. Then again, I haven’t spoken to my brother in almost three years. It’s OK though, because it’s my choice.

Anyway, this isn’t about him anyway. As far as brothers go, there are definitely better and there are definitely worse. But back to BabyGirl. I never intended to have just one child. I’m sure some people do, but I didn’t. Growing up I saw the great relationship my mom had with her brother and the strong friendships my grandma had with her brothers and sisters. And while I didn’t have a specific number in mind, I never thought I’d be a mom to an only child.

As they say, though, life happens. I got married and we didn’t want to start a family right away. I’d just lost my mother, uncle, and grandfather in a span of 4 years and my grandmother was diagnosed with the first of what would be three types of cancer. I spent a lot of time caring for other people I just really wanted a break.

Two years went by. Then three. Five.

As each year dawned anew CycleGuy and I would talk and determine if that year would be the year we start a family. Then September 11, 2001 happened. 2002 rolled around and we decided that might be the year. And it was.

But then it was 2003 and 2004. Then 2007. 2010. 2011.

It wasn’t going to happen. I turned 40 in 2009 and the thought of having a baby in my 40s wasn’t appealing. I know, that’s not really a reason not to have a child. But, by this time I was spending more and more time taking care of my grandma and with BabyGirl’s self-sufficiency growing I wasn’t ready to start over with diapers and sleepless nights.

At 12 she doesn’t ask any more. Well, that’s not true. It’s not that she doesn’t ask. It’s more like she understands and I’ll get the occasional “I wish” statements. In talking to friends who also have an only I hear this is common. I get that sometimes you want to have someone to play with. Even kids with siblings have that feeling when they get annoyed with their brother or sister.

I used to get sad thinking about BabyGirl growing up not having that sibling experience. Then I’d come back to reality and remember that my sibling experience is not all magical and pixie dust-filled. And while CycleGuy has a decent relationship with his brother, at ten-years apart he didn’t really have that sibling experience growing up.

Today was just another day for BabyGirl, as I imagine it was for a lot of people. While she will never have a sibling, I hope one day she has a friend that loves her like a sister.


{ 1 comment }

Nina April 10, 2015 at 10:05 pm

Thank you, I needed this. I too never believed that I would have and only but I do. My 5 year old son is always asking for a sibling and I am at a loss. (If only he understood the strain between my sister and I or his dad’s relationship with the unle he barely knows).
Thank you again

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