Reflections from an Only Child on Siblings Day

As I’m writing this, it’s National Siblings Day again. I’m not sure if this “holiday” has been created by Hallmark or is just a Facebook thing. I think most likely the latter as I haven’t seen any actual greeting cards at the grocery store but my Facebook feed is blowing up with adorable photos! Be it a picture from 30 years ago or 3 years ago, they are all totally cute. All of the sweet proclamations of sibling love give me hope that my two gals will be best buds someday. Hopefully when they are adults, possibly living very far away from each other, they will always have someone who understands them for exactly who they really are.

While the sibling celebrations give me hope for a lifelong friendship for my girls, they also make me a little bit sad. You see – I’m an only child. They remind me of what I missed out on and what I continue to miss out on. Or at least the things I imagine I missed out on and imagine I am still missing out on. In my head, the bond between siblings is just something I cannot fathom. In nature versus nature, there is no one closer to you on both fronts than your sibling. Is there anyone else who can truly understand you like your sister or brother can?

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Facebook post on my wall from one of my cousins – the only other one who is an only child.


Oh man, I really hope my mom doesn’t read this. I had a wonderful childhood, I promise. I am super close with both of my parents and all of my cousins. Even the ones that live far away feel like siblings to me – or at least what I imagine that might feel like, right? I have wonderful girlfriends I turn to when I feel anxious, have something to celebrate or just feel down in the dumps. I am so lucky to have a husband who is also my best friend – someone I can be totally serious or silly with. Someone I can tell anything to and not feel judged. I have my parents’ full attention when I need them. There’s no juggling – the help they provide me with their grandkids is fully available to me when I need it most. I really cannot complain.

Being silly and pretending these cousins were my brothers and sisters.
Being silly and pretending these cousins were my brothers and sisters.


But still there’s this nagging feeling inside causing me to ponder lots of silly questions. Would I be a better mother to two children if I had experience with the sibling rivalry that plagues them? How will I know how to choose between them if I am ever forced to do so if I’ve not witnessed my own mother make a difficult decision like that? How alone and isolated will I feel when my parents are no longer around and I don’t have a sibling to lean on? Would I have closer relationships with my friends if I had experienced close friendship at a young age with a sibling? Would I be more open to my own children and their craziness if I wasn’t so content growing up in the quiet calmness of my family’s single child household? What if – I could ask it all day long and still never know. I will never know that feeling of having a sibling and I have no choice but to be okay with it. And for whatever reason, I made a choice for my own children so that they should not wonder about it like I do. I hope that someday, as adults, they will show me that the bond of sisters cannot be broken. And maybe because they are my own children, of my own flesh and blood as a sister might have been, I will feel it, if even just a little. I wish that for my little girls.

Hopefully best friends for life!
Hopefully best friends for life!

3 thoughts on “Reflections from an Only Child on Siblings Day

  1. I’m an only child and I am excited at the notion of eventually having two kids instead of one. Being an only child obviously effects you – I remember begging my mom and dad to adopt a sister. I agree with your sentiments on the positive note. I think in a way, you can live through THEIR experiences of being a sibling, and smile, knowing that you provided that for them.


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