I’ve always been a little envious of my friends who battle in the family wars of sibling rivalry. Growing up as the only child and the only grandchild of the family has it’s perks, but many are unaware of the equally large pitfalls that go along with the territory.
Christmas was nice no matter how good or bad I was. Whenever I wanted to tell a joke, the whole room was all eyes and ears – which should have been a red alert because I’ve never been very funny. Don’t get me wrong, I love to be the center of attention, but as I got older I wished some of the spotlight haloing around me would dim.
As the only child, the pressure is all on you. Parents are like sharks. I could never give my mom the privilege of putting an “honor child” sticker on the bumper so I had to find other ways to supply her with good material for conversation.
Since I would never make the Whiz Quiz team, my next stop for celebrity status was to take the athletic route.
Then again, how much can you gain from playing sports against your furby? The first time I tried to play soccer, I lifted for the biggest kick my stubby little legs could handle. Not only did I miss the ball completely, but still managed to fall and stain my khaki pleated skort with grass. I was semi-decent in basketball and track, but that all ended when the other girls hit a growth spurt and my legs weren’t longer.
Well, now what? By this point, I was in middle school and not exactly as cute as I once was, but my mom still wanted to invite a clown to my twelfth birthday party. She did, by the way. I had no choice but to accept that I would always be treated a few years younger than I was, but the expectations were for someone a few years older.
My mom wanted me to look at which AP high school classes I would want to take when I entered middle school. She wanted me to start planning for college when I went to high school – she probably should’ve prepared more on the financial end for that.
Oh well, I’ll leave sibling rivalries to those who actually have siblings. Competing with someone who has the same genes as you is one thing, trying to match the rest of the world is another. Being the only child made me a more self-reflective person, whether I use that ability to make better judgment calls is another story. And if nothing else, I’m the biggest people person you’ll ever meet.