So there is now a holiday called “National Siblings Day.” It appears that this day is celebrated by posting pictures of one’s self with one’s siblings on facebook and instagram and spouting nostalgic pleasantries about the sacred bonds of siblinghood. Even though we all know good and well that on at least 1468 different occasions during your childhood, your mother had to save you from certain death at the hands of your brother or sister…or vice versa.
Now that I have three kids, I appreciate the concept of Siblings Day and I’m happy that my kids will have each other to lean on in the coming years and decades of their lives. And I’m glad that Danny and I will have three people to take care of us when we are old and senile. I’m fairly certain I know which one will be the lead caregiver and probably the most financially stable. I’m holding out hope that the other two will be some sort of functional adults. To be determined. So back to Siblings Day. This must have pissed off some only children because today, April 12th is “National Only Child Day.” At first glance, this seems like the most absurd holiday ever concocted, but I think I’m going to embrace it. The following are on my short list for how I might potentially celebrate my special day:
- Go out to lunch with my imaginary friend, Mimi. It’s been a really long time since we’ve been able to spend time together. At least since I outgrew the magical thinking phase of my cognitive development.
- Meet with my parents to review their wills and advance directives. Because I will be the one managing ALL OF IT. Set ground rules for what hours of the day and night are acceptable to call me for non-emergent issues and identify what constitutes an actual emergency (I lost my dentures – NOT an emergency. Mom can’t get her phone unlocked – NOT an emergency. I can’t get the Golf Network to tune in – NOT an emergency…even on Masters weekend. I’m having a heart attack – emergency…go ahead and call 911, and then call me).
- Attend a self help group for only children, focusing on the only child trauma (physical and emotional) of trying to navigate a teeter-totter independently.
- Play Solitaire
- Remember all the Christmases of my childhood when I got ALL OF THE THINGS! And then consider the potentially negative impact this may have had in terms of my ability to experience contentment in my early 20s.
- Write my younger cousin a letter, apologizing for despising her when she was born. I think I must have been six when she came along, and up until that point I was an only grandchild on both sides of my family. When she was born, my world came crashing down. Over the last 30 some-odd years I’ve come to love her. 😉
- Go for a jog with the following playlist: Dancing With Myself (Billy Idol), All By Myself (Celine Dion), Alone (Heart), Boulevard of Broken Dreams (Green Day), Lonesome, On’ry and Mean (Waylon Jennings) and Tea for One (Led Zeppelin).
- Remind myself that my parents only had one kid because I fulfilled all of their dreams and NOT because they were terrified to have another one like me.
And in the grand tradition of pictorally reminiscing about one’s lonely childhood….
Happy Only Child Day to my people out there who became seemingly well adjusted adults even when the cards were stacked against you! Now go out and celebrate!