During a routine checkup at the pediatrician’s office, I got my first real look at how my 4-year-old daughter feels about the subject of siblings. A nurse asked my daughter if she had any brothers or sisters. “No,” she said, shaking her head, a look of slight revulsion and incredulity on her face, as if she didn’t understand why she was being asked. “Well, I do have Rufus and Tallulah,” she said, with a smile like a ray of sunshine. The nurse looked at me expectantly. “They’re our pit bulls,” I explained, and that was that. Later that night, as I was putting my daughter to bed, I asked her flat out: “Do you ever wish you had a brother or sister?” She looked at me directly before she responded, and I braced for the worst. “I wish I had a kitten,” she said.
While our decision to have only one child isn’t something I’ve ever been too concerned about, it was good to have confirmation that my daughter feels happy. But even if she wanted human siblings, it wouldn’t sway me. For me, not giving my daughter a sibling was one of the ways I felt I could help protect her from the kind of abuse that I survived.
My choice to “deny” my child a sibling was influenced, in huge part, by my traumatic experiences at the hands of my own. I suffered years of sexual abuse from my older brother—and a subsequent lifelong struggle to reconcile and recover. I have always been acutely aware that a sibling may not be a blessing. And when I hear people bemoan the so-called sad plight of the only child, I remember how often I actually longed to be one.
[For more on this story by Anonymous, go to https://rewire.news/article/20...ll-be-an-only-child/]