Growing Up Singular

-Maudi Strahan, Contributing Writer

Some people have the privilege of growing up with siblings; I am not one of those people because I am an only child. I feel like it is pretty rare to not have siblings these days. It’s almost like being an only child is the new homeschooled. People used to gasp upon hearing that someone was homeschooled, but more and more people seem to also be surprised by those who grew up as the only child of their family.

I spoke to a few people who didn’t know that I don’t have siblings; as I suspected, when they found out they had questions. Inquiries like, “Are your parents really overprotective?” “What do you do on holidays?” and “You must really love kids, huh?”

My parents were, and still are, definitely overprotective; growing up, I thought they were just as protective as parents with multiple children. I guarantee there are a string of text messages in my phone containing short sentences from me telling my parents that I’ve safely gotten to campus, that I’m going to a friend’s house, or that I’m running to the grocery store. I recently talked to my mom about keeping her and my dad up to date on my whereabouts. “I’m glad you always tell us where you are; you’re all we’ve got. Can you imagine how we would feel if something happened to you and we didn’t know where you were? I don’t know what we would do,” she told me.

Growing up as an only child wasn’t bad at all; I actually loved it. I always hear horror stories from people saying that their younger siblings have completely taken over their bedroom at home. As an only child, I know for a fact that no one ever steps foot in my bedroom at home when I’m here at MC.

Holidays are always very simple, but they are also cherished. I have found that enjoying Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holidays with 2 other people is far more relaxing than celebrating with a house full of people. When we celebrate with extended family, I often find myself spending time with my cousins who have become somewhat like artificial siblings because of the amount of time I spent with them as a child.

Both of my parents each have siblings. My mom grew up with 11 siblings: 8 sisters and 3 brothers; my dad had a lot less: 2 sisters and 2 brothers. My parents only planned for one child since they both grew up in full houses. An only child is almost guaranteed to have constant attention from his or her parents. In my case, my parents have become my favorite two people because they were the only people I have always had continuously in my life. I believe that if I had siblings I would be a lot less close to my parents.

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