Being an Only Child. A Blessing, a Curse, or Somewhere in Between?


only2DO YOU HAVE ANY BROTHERS OR SISTERS?
Nope. I’m an only child.

DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU MISSED OUT ON ANYTHING GROWING UP AS AN ONLY CHILD?
I guess. I mean seeing big family gatherings and seeing pictures of my friends and their kids all getting together with their siblings and their kids and there’s all these cousins and family everywhere. We didn’t have that. It was me, my dad and my mom. My mom had one brother, my Uncle Jack, and he had one son. My dad was an only child too. So that was it, one uncle, one cousin.

DID YOU EVER WISH THAT YOUR PARENTS HAD MORE CHILDREN?
Oh yeah. A lot of the time. Whenever I’d have something going on and none of my friends would be around, I’d always think about having someone, mostly a brother, to hang with. My parents used to let me invite friends over for holiday dinners and stuff but most of the time they’d be doing their own stuff and it’d just be like eight people at the most. Sometimes it was five. Sometimes it’d be three. Kind of a depressing holiday table.

WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST ADVANTAGE TO BEING AN ONLY CHILD?
Well, I always got first pick of everything (laughter). All the Christmas present budget was spent on me (laughter). Never had to share. Never had anyone to fight with. My own room. My own everything.

WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST DISADVANTAGE?
Pretty much like I said, always being the only one. Not having someone to play with, to hang with, to show stuff to, to get in trouble with, to cover for me when I do dumb shit and vice versa.

DID PEOPLE (THAT YOU RECALL) EVER TRY TO PRESSURE YOUR PARENTS TO HAVE MORE KIDS?
I remember people always saying ‘when are you gonna have another’ and stuff like that, but not really pressure. I think people just assume that if someone has one kid, the next logical question is, are you having more? Which makes sense on the one hand, but then again, no one ever says to a mom of  three, ‘are you gonna have more?” It’s like if you have three or four you’re onlyokay, it’s complete. Or not. But it’s your call. When you have one, it’s like an unfinished project or something.

DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
One (laughter).

DO YOU THINK YOU’LL HAVE MORE?
I have another on the way actually.

WAS IT PURPOSEFUL THAT YOU HAD MORE THAN ONE?
It was. But not because I was worried about the only child thing. It’s just something we talked about when we talked about getting married and having kids. She’s one of 6. I’m glad for that. I have a big extended family that I never had growing up. But the flip side of that is that, as an only child, you often become territorial and private and introspective. It’s hard to get used to talking and sharing and being so open and all of that after 25 years of essential solitude.

WOULD YOU ADVISE AGAINST PEOPLE DOING THE ONE AND DONE THING (I MEAN PROVIDED THEY ARE CAPABLE OF HAVING MORE THAN ONE)?
I wouldn’t presume to advise anyone on something so personal. There’s good and bad to it like everything. Some people hate being alone. Some people feel like they missed out on having siblings. Other people probably loved the hell out of being an only child. To each their own.

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