Monday, May 23rd, 2005 After six months on coop I’m ready to leave the office that hired me so willingly but has become boredom central. I was meant to take summer classes but received an internship in New York and decided to extend my co-op until the fall.
What’s the big deal? I am an only child and I blame my boredom, impulsiveness, and scared to live alone, issues on this characteristic. I thought about living in the Big Apple and instead of growing excited I grew petrified, was I normal? Did I refuse to leave because of some imaginary umbilical cord that would attach me to my family for the rest of my life? Only children are faced with this type of dilemmas.
Unlike having siblings to tease, only children have to rely on themselves, their pets, or their imaginary friends for entertainment. I cannot tell you how many times my mother thought I was possessed because I had hour-long conversations with my imaginary buddy. Thankfully, my posse of ‘soule enfants’ has told me that they too spoke to themselves, reassuring me that I was really not that whacked.
Another fact is that only children are not as spoiled as people think. Sure, I’ve always had my own room, my own toys, my own car, and my own shebang; but this does not make me spoiled, it makes me appreciative. Since I’ve always had everything I’m good at sharing, listening, and caring. Some researchers even claim that, “Only children tend to be higher achievers, they get along fine with their peers, they aren't spoiled or lonely or aloof,” as Steven Mintz, author of "Huck's Raft: A History of American Childhood," writes.
Finally, only children are courageous. Do you think it’s easy to face mom after you break a vase and have no one else to blame but yourself? Or what about standing up to the bully who picks on you a little extra since he knows you ain’t got a big brother or sister to defend you? Only children are truly inspirational. We can be private, we can be social, we can be leaders, and we can also follow the pack once in a while.
So, if I know I have all these qualities why is it so hard for me, and other only children, to leave home? Even though we can keep ourselves entertained, only children can get uninterested easily. Not to mention that we have high expectations of others around us so nuisance chat is unaccepted. Only children are used to sharing; but we praise our space and understand our messiness, cleanliness, or any other organized-ness you mention single handedly. Also, only children can be brave but they can tend to be capricious. When having an argument, hell can break loose, but an only child will win the quarrel.
I know I want to leave home, but why should I leave when I have all that I want without sibling wars? Big families have their problems, and their wonderful qualities, but for my taste having a family of just my mom, my dad, and me, myself and I, is, at the moment, phenomenal. As I am getting ready for NY I understand this is will be more of a personal growth experience than a career related opportunity. I will share my space, look after myself, and not be able to drive 15 minutes to get home. I will live a “normal” life, in the terms of friends who have siblings, and when I return I may be ready to leave my only child world behind.