If you’re planning on having kids, or have one, don’t settle for only one.
I never missed siblings when I was a kid. All attention was on me, I got loads of gifts from grandparents for Christmas and birthday, not having to share. I had friends and didn’t realize what having siblings meant. From what my friends told me, having a brother or sister was a major pain in the rear.
Since a little before 40 and increasingly so after turning 40, I’ve started to miss having siblings. It’s some small things and some big stuff. Among the small things is the possibility to not celebrate Christmas with my parents. My mom always say “Will you be home for Christmas?” I answer that I guess so and she replies: “Well, you really don’t have to, if you have something else going on, it’s just that your father and I are so happy when you’re…”
It would’ve been nice to be able to make a call: “Hey sis, you’re on Christmas duty this year, I’m taking off partying in London.” It would’ve been nice if mom had someone else to focus her attention on, someone to call when the first snow falls and tell to put on warm clothes. I know she loves me, and means well, but it’s kinda embarrising for a 42 year old man to have his mother ask if he’s eating enough, and making sure I have clean underwear. I roll my eyes, tell her I love her and say that I’ve managed to live by my own for 22 years now without starving to death, gettiing evidted for a messy house, or having an accident and not wearing clean underwear (I’ve had some minor accidents, tho).
And it would have been nice to have a brother or sister today, when my dad died.
At 11.05 a.m. his body didn’t want to fight the lung cancer any more. We knew it was coming, he got the diagnosis early in 2001, and it’s been borrowed time for quite a while. He’d been fighting the illness succesfully for over 2,5 years and was doing OK most of the time. But it turned to worse about six weeks ago.
Now comes the time for the funeral, insurances, taking care of his stuff, cleaning out his room at the ward where he got his final hospital care. In many ways, I’m relieved, because at the end, it was quick, and he hardly suffered. It was only this past weekend that the pain got severe. It wasn’t a surprise, and I’m not grieving, though I feel kinda guilty about not crying over him. Maybe I will, when I finally realize what’s happened.
This mini-rant is just to say that I’m feeling very lonely now, and would’ve liked to have someone to share the burden with. I had my relationship with my dad, but it certainly isn’t the same as my mom’s, who met my dad in '54, got engaged in '55 and married in '58. Of course, we can comfort each other. We have to, because our family was just me and mom and dad. My mom has no siblings either and my dad broke with his famile over 30 years ago. Didn’t even go to my grandfather’s or grandmother’s funeral.
It’s at times like these, that I look at my friends who have bigger families, and envy them.
A p.s. I know there are Dopers who have faith. While I can appreciate the gesture of prayers, should someone show up and offer them, I myself am free of religion.