I read this article from the Washington Post yesterday and thought I’d weigh in as an only with an only. Growing up there were times I wanted a sibling, but I rather liked my childhood and didn’t feel like I missed out on anything. Sometimes I felt like the house was too quiet, but you don’t need a big family to fill a house with laughter. There are times Gage tells me I need to have a brother for him (never a sister) and I do sometimes wish that was in the cards, but it’s not. Honestly, I don’t understand the stigma attached to only children.
While families with siblings manage relationships among the siblings, we go out and forge relationships with other families, often with those that have only one kid. Not because that’s important, but because it’s practical. A few weeks ago we took a four day vacation with another family of three and the boys (who have already been friends for years) had a great time. Gage and I rode with the family for the one and a half hour trip there and the boys had a blast (so much so that they carpooled with Jason to science center camp this week). We all had a great time.
Both of these boys had challenges when they were younger and neither one would be where he is now if there had been siblings to look after also. What I’ve been able to do for Gage health-wise never would have happened if he was not my only focus. I never would have had the time to go on research trips, study, cook so many different diets, reach out to other moms, experts and doctors (let alone the cost) if we’d had another child.
I read the comments to the article on Facebook (where nothing good ever happens) and was sad at how much judgement there still was for a fast growing population of kids. According to the article 22% of women who had kids only had one. During our presidential studies we recently read a few books about Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his being an only child featured prominently into his story, and this man born to extreme privilege and indulgence did some pretty great things for the least among us, and I told Gage that we only kids should aspire to such great things. #Putman2048