Friday, February 26, 2010

Siblings

One of these years Jer and I will get around to having a child.  As for now, the allure of vacations and free time and extra spending money is winning out over baby fever.  This isn't to say we haven't talked about parenthood at length.  We know the day will come when we're ready for that step; it just hasn't happened yet.  Over the past year, I've had it in my head that I only wanted one kid.  One would be enough for me to experience motherhood, pass on our genes, teach our values, and provide a great life to.  Lots of people's reactions to hearing that are, "Your kid is going to be a spoiled a-hole if you only have one."  Well, that's not necessarily the case.  You can spoil or not spoil any number of kids.  My sister's husband is an only child and he turned out pretty dang well.  I also know some people who aren't only children, and they fulfill the spoiled a-hole role quite nicely.  Who's to say that I won't spoil the crap out of my kids, no matter how many I have? 

When our exchange student, Kim, was living with us, she used to tease me about this decision.  I'd say something about my future 'kid' and she would always correct me and say 'kids.'  (It always made me smile, but I would still hold out in the back of my mind that 'kid' was indeed going to be the case). Kim told us we couldn't only have one child because the sibling relationship is so amazing.  She and her brother Mik are very close and share a special bond.

She got me thinking about my siblings, though.  Sure, I can have friends that will occasionally fill the role that a sibling might play, but they can't take the place of my sisters.  I had live-in, anytime playmates when I was growing up, thanks to my sisters.  I had a special pen-pal when I was young because my oldest sister was in college.  I had a cool Senior sister looking out for me in my first year of high school.  I had an older sister whose car I could borrow (and wreck while she was out of town!).  I have sisters that experience things before me, thereby offering advice and sympathy because they've been there before.  And I've got sisters that will go to the end of the earth for me, if I ask.

Since both Jer and I have siblings, we've been lucky enough to play the role of aunt and uncle.  It's one of the best jobs in the world, right up there behind being a grandparent.  We get to take our nieces and nephews out for fun activities, load them full of sweets, buy them fun gifts, brag about them to anyone who will listen, and then send them back to their parents.  We adore each and every one of our 5 nephews and 3 nieces and look forward to Number 9 coming soon!  With multiple siblings, and those siblings having multiple kids, family gatherings can grow quite large (and loud!).  Sometimes it's stressful having so many people in one location and trying to coordinate meals and such, but I really wouldn't have it any other way.  It's nice to have a full house and lots of activity going on during holidays.  There's never a shortage of stories to share, or milestones to celebrate.

Of course, my experience isn't necessarily typical.  Some siblings don't get along as well as others.  But, the opportunity for a special sibling relationship, like I have, is not even possible if I only have one child.  With everything considered, I think I'm comfortable with the idea of having more than one child when the time comes.  (Ask me again, though, when I'm up all night with my first newborn and we'll see if I sing the same tune!)  


Me and my beautiful sisters, then and now

1 comment:

Tiffany said...

You guys are beautiful!!! I love your sisters too!

Siblings can be rough, but you'll always have someone in your corner even if you're not doing your best to be siblings (trust me!)My mom was an only child and she hated it. She has always begged us to have more than one kid because the difficulties that siblings sometimes have are nothing compared to the loneliness of an only child.

Good idea!