A few days ago my dad asked me if I felt like I was an only child. I can understand this question, this isn’t out of the blue…. After 16 years of sharing my space with at least one sibling, it has now come to the point where it’s all my junk lying around. There are only three places set at the dinner table. I wake up on Sunday morning and I don’t have to drive anyone to church…. On the contrary it’s usually me and Dad driving together. There’s no one to fight with when I get home from school. No waiting in anticipation to see who it is that just walked in the door. No fighting over what movie to watch. No late night walks with my big strong brother to protect me. No spilling my guts and getting the response of “Where is this person so I can beat them up?”.
These are all things I associate with living with my family. Yes, they are mostly about my brothers. But considering my sisters have been moved out for…. 5-7 years…. ummm yah.
No, I don’t feel like an only child. Only children don’t know what it’s like to live life with other people. They don’t know what they’re missing out on. I know.
Since two of my brothers decided to enlist in the United States Marine Corpse last summer I’ve been going through a rather difficult adjusting process. It was a blow when my protector left for boot camp. He’s been gone since October excluding 20 days in January. Now, my best friend is at boot camp. I didn’t think I’d miss Tim. He’s the most reserved of my brothers. he has so many layers to go along with a thick shell that it’s hard to find out who he really is. And in the past few months we’ve grown apart. I don’t know if that was accidental or by design… I can’t help but feel abandoned.
You see the Marines changes people. John went in to boot camp an obnoxious teenager and came out a jovial man. I don’t know how it will change Tim. But I do know that I will never be the innocent little sister. The third member of the three musketeers. When we used to play together I would feel like something delicate and special that should be protected. I still felt that way even as we grew up. And now as I find myself in the house we grew up together in, I’m lonely. I feel abandoned.
No, Dad, I don’t feel like an only child. Only children don’t cry themselves to sleep because they miss their family. Only children don’t expect anything more out of their family lives.
And Mom and Dad don’t treat me like an only child either. The plain and simple is that they’re empty nesting. There are times when I feel like I’m intruding upon their lives. And they wonder why I want to move out once I graduate.
My whole life I’ve been chasing after John and Tim. Wanting to be whatever they wanted to be. Doing whatever they did. Now they’ve gone somewhere I can’t follow and I’m stuck feeling like 1/3 of a person. Surely this isn’t how an only child feels?