This morning I came across this article warning of things NOT to say to a mother of an only child. The list is pretty relate-able, such as “when will you have another” or “it’s just not the same without two….or seven.” Etc. Etc.
We’ve actually been getting this question of another a lot lately. It doesn’t bother me or piss me off so much as make me uncomfortable. Your positing over the arrival of my next offspring is pushing it.
Yeah, I’m married.
We may or may not have sex.
It may or may not happen.
I don’t know, I don’t know, but thanks for asking so discreetly if we are still doing the funky.
Yeah. I know people mean well, and mostly when it’s family or close friends grilling us with an excited twinkle in their eyes at the thought of another baby, I don’t mind at all. But people who don’t know us?? No. None of your damn business.
But the point in this list that really got me thinking is #4: Every Child Needs a Brother or Sister. People say this all the time, and they don’t even realize how gross that statement is.
Really? Do you know me at all, and you just said that? Wow.
I do actually want to provide a sibling to my son, if I can. I’m pushing my mid-30s so for all I know all my eggs are dead. But this is not something I want to discuss ad nauseam. If I say “maybe” with a smirk, leave it at that.
Don’t, by any means, continue that presumptuous statement about brothers and sisters with a mini-speech about how all the only children you know that are weird, lonely, sad, sociopaths, etc. That is simply not true, and I’m going to tell you why.
My father, much to his chagrin, I’m sure, was married before my mother. He had two children in that marriage. So I technically have siblings, a half-brother and half-sister. But I am also my parents ONLY child together. Even outside of the fact that my dad has a very tumultuous and rocky past with his Ex and that she essentially kidnapped his children when they were school age is besides the point here. My “siblings” are 10 and 12 years older than me, respectively.
That’s a huge gap. So even if we all grew up in some hybrid-happy-household, it is very likely that I’d still have spent much of my childhood as a singleton given that they’d both probably have gone off to college right around my entrance to elementary school.
But alas. We did not grow up together. In fact, I’ve never even met my “brother” and my sister disappeared off the face of the earth eight years ago, despite finding
my our dad at 18 and becoming a major part of our lives.There was always baggage between us; she always held it against me that I had a “perfect” life and that my parents were still married. I also think she always suspected that my mom broke up her parents marriage, failing to realize that her own mother is certifiably BAT SHIT INSANE.
I think a little bit of that crazy got into her blood too, because apparently the reason she vanished without a trace is because I’m the chosen one. The perfect child. Whatever. At 38 she was jealous of me, an unemployed broke-ass 24 year old living in my parents teeny tiny spare bedroom. Right.
But I love her, my sister. And it hurts that she’s gone. She might be dead, I’m not sure, I doubt it, but for coping purposes, I often convince myself she is.
So at 34, I’ve seen it both ways. And with this Dr, Phil-esque family history in hand, I stand to say that singletons are not the problem. I think it’s probably YOU.