May 23, 2016

As Told by an Only Child


I often think that being an only child, who is raising a couple of kids, is like living in a suspended state of puppy love. That idealistic giddiness that comes with the first true crush, the starry eyes that no sour reality can penetrate, we are closing in on three years of siblinghood in this family, and I still can't contain the daily swells of happy tears when I watch simple interactions between my children.

They fight, they torture each other, they defend each other, and give rough embraces that send them both crashing to the ground... it's all typical stuff, but these moments are my favorite part of each day. Even when they are driving me nuts and I lose my temper, I take comfort in knowing that they can help each other navigate my special brand of crazy.



For every set of siblings that stay thick as thieves through adulthood, there are likely many more that never get along, drift apart, or just never relate to one another. It doesn't always work out, and there are often good reasons for the distance. But being an only child, I can ignore possible future realities, and just glorify today's head-locks as character building, and embrace the squabbling as a welcome soundtrack to the 'big family' life that I always imagined.



One of my greatest hopes for my children is that they will always be there for each other, and that they will genuinely enjoy and respect one another as adults. Of course, much of that is out of my hands. Still, I do believe that parenting plays a substantive role in setting the tone for long term sibling love, and we're doing our best to lay down that sturdy foundation. Knocking on wood, and sentencing them both to a life of shared bedrooms and late night whispers. Like it or not!



This is tough to understand, but I just love it when they plot against me. I'm looking forward to their future memoirs detailing the lives of a brother and sister, raised by a sappy only-child mama.

operation rescue from Mama Smith on Vimeo.


p.s. there's obviously a lot of good that I could say about being an only child, and being raised by a single mother, and on and on. I suspect we all yearn for pieces of what we missed out on, while also honoring the beauty in what we did have. hopefully that comes through in this journal, as a whole. I know there are a ton of awesome only-children coming up in this world, without question!

6 comments:

  1. That video is hilarious. I love how she so carefully repeats his exact request - even changing her words as she goes to match his.

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    1. I know, she actually begins to say it more 'correctly'... then follows his lead ;)

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  2. Oh, that laughter! So sweet.

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  3. Oh my word. My boys just watched this with me and they LOVED it! Three kids laughing over here at your kids laughing! I also love that they say "rec-su" instead of rescue. So adorable! They are so great, Lilly. I share your joy in the magic of siblings.

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    1. They sound so evil and joyful all at once ;) It really is fun to watch them grow so close (please let it last!).

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