Holly McCamant: Inside the life of an only child
In just about every culture, siblings are a way of life.
It’s especially evident in the American culture, where the average American household has around two and a half children. Just about everyone I know is fortunate to have a brother or sister.
It’s very evident both in real life and in our stories. Even Disney focuses on the power of sisterly love. I’ve read countless books with stories about how siblings are always there. Families have huge amounts of sisters and brothers resulting in many aunts in uncles (including my parents’).
This abundance is a wonderful foundation we have our society based off of. Siblings are extremely important, and I think siblings are one of the reasons why the foundation of family is strong. So many people rely on their siblings in tough times or just as friends.
However, it’s not this way for everybody. I am an only child, as you may or may not be aware. Society’s opinion of us is a little different.
The first thing that people think of with only children is that they are spoiled brats. Apparently in China there is an abundance of “little emperors.” I don’t know what other only children think, but I find it funny when people think my parents spoil me.
If you’ve met my mom, you can probably tell that the possibility of me being a spoiled snob is nonexistent.
We are also thought of as different. This idea is right on.
The first thing I think of is that most kids have not formed a deep attachment with their pets. People wonder why I love my dogs so much. Well, I ask them why they love their siblings.
Beyond that, we have developed different socially. Only children usually do not have the typical social lives as people with siblings have.
I know that I tend to “adopt” certain people. I prefer close and real friendships than many insignificant ones. Just like siblings become close over the shared troubles they have in their household, I have become close with my teammates as we survive brutal, but effective, workouts.
No, I may not have a sister but I sure can find someone who is close to one.
Another thing is that only children absolutely hate being alone. Well, at least I do. People with siblings like the escape from the crazy world. Those who are already alone think of loneliness as a nightmare. Being home alone isn’t relaxing; it’s extreme boredom.
Sadly, we are forced to be alone a lot because of our lack of siblings. This results in us having a good ability to think of ideas and things to do. If there’s a problem, I must think of a solution. Everything has to be over thought to the maximum. If there is an article to be written every week, there will be an idea thought up.
Most children constantly crave their parent’s affection. I, for the most part, want a break from constant hugs and conversations. It can be overwhelming. This is probably the reason why a lot of only children strive to be so independent.
As you may have noticed, there tends to be two types of only children. There are the ones that are different and shut the world out.
However, there are the ones like me that, while different, do their best to do the exact opposite. Even though there are those who hide away in their rooms, there are ones that like to get out and do as much as possible.
The one thing I’m pretty sure most of us share in common is that we do not wish we were only children. I get two reactions from people when I tell them I’m an only child. The first one is “You’re so lucky!” and the second one is “I feel sorry for you.” I can tell you that the first reaction makes me want to vomit. People with siblings have no idea how lucky they are.
Only children are a part of today’s society. Unlike the fairy tales, most of us have parents that are alive. We are different, but we are making our own way. We’ll adopt siblings and have great relationships. Most of all, if we have kids, we will try to have more than one.
Holly McCamant is a junior at Frazee-Vergas High School.