I’m an only child. My Dad was the youngest of 11, and my Mom was the youngest of 13, so I suppose my being an only child shouldn’t come as a complete surprise. I always wanted to have brothers and sisters, but I never actually missed having them.
Kindness has a strange way of lurking in our lives just beneath the surface. I know that as a child growing up without siblings, I had to think for myself. I’m sure not having someone else to blame for things kept me out of a lot of trouble as I grew up. I learned responsibility at an early age. We were a family of just 3, so there was no slacking off allowed.
I was taught to be kind as a child, but the impact of Kindness escaped me until recently. Being kind is not an obligation, if so it can’t be genuine. My interaction with other people was always based on my experience with my parents. I missed out on things because there weren’t any other kids in the house.
Throughout my life, I’ve noticed how an only child is perceived differently than everyone else. The stereotype is that I was spoiled, that is far from the case because, as I said, the expectations from my parents were high. Failures couldn’t be excused as someone else’s fault. I don’t think this spoiled me, it just gave me a different outlook on life and responsibility.
Perhaps I try too hard. Embracing Kindness has shown me that the first person I need to be kind to us myself. I am still learning that lesson each day in order to then show more genuine kindness to everyone else.
This is my personal only child story. I don’t set an example for siblings to follow, nor do I have to compete with siblings who came before me. I venture through life in my own now, except for my partner Hal. He has many brothers and sisters. I see how his relationship with them affects his life, even with me. Still, we make it work for more than 22 years now.
I am an only child. That will never change. I accept this and do the best I can each and every day, just like everyone else.