But catch me later and we can talk about Sweet Charlotte any other time you want!
You see...yours truly is an only child. That means I have some wonderful insight into the positives and negatives of being the sole heir to a dynasty. And I use the term dynasty VERY loosely here, folks. When my parents got hitched my mom was only 22 or 23 and my dad was 32 or 33. He was obviously much older, but my mom was awfully good looking, and he just couldn't resist her charms! Fast forward two years later and they welcomed a sweet little bundle of joy named Tiffany...and life (nor their bank account) would ever be the same!
Mom and I
My mom had two older sisters and one older brother, so I assumed she probably always intended on having a bigger family or at least one other child. It's funny how life just gets in the way of your good intentions. She probably would have gotten pregnant again when I was 3 or 4, but she wanted to make something more of herself and went back to school to get her degree in Early Childhood Education. She graduated, got a great job doing what she loved, I got older....and time just kind of slipped away from her. Damn that time--it has a tendency to do that.
Daddy and I
This is my Daddy. He is sweet, funny, and all of the best things a daddy should be. He originally thought he was too old to have kids when they got married, but once again he fell subject to my mom's charms. (He tends to do that a lot, in case you haven't noticed) He saw a blue-eyed little girl with curly blonde hair at the Seafood Festival right after they got married and said "If we have kids...I want one just like that!"
Good call, Daddio! I'm glad she changed his mind because although he is good at everything he has ever tried to do (except for maybe his handwriting), his true calling in life was to be a daddy. Cause he's awesome at it.
I have never had a sibling so I don't have a clue what that's like, but I can confirm for all you parents out there on the fence about whether or not to add to your family of 3....being an only child kind of rocked. Here is my list of reasons why:
1.)I believe that with good parents, an only child can thrive academically. My mom jokes that I never really had a first word, I just had many words. From the beginning...and they never stopped once they started. They always talked to me like an adult and they encouraged me to communicate with them like an adult. They had ample time to spend reading to me and cultivating my mind because they weren't distracted and pulled in ten thousand different directions.
2.) Financially speaking, one child is significantly less expensive than even having two kids. My parents were able to give me so many wonderful things throughout my childhood and young adult years. Granted, I know material things aren't the most important things in the world, but my parents used some of those things (horses, cars, etc) as bonding tools and lessons in responsibility. I always knew that these things were blessings and I was a lucky gal to be so fortunate....but they could be taken away as quickly as they were given.
3.) Some of my best memories during childhood were family vacations. Even today we will talk bout how my slow-as-molasses-in-December PawPaw ran from a bear and beat everyone to the car that time we went to Gatlinburg. Though we weren't rich by any means, I have gotten to see parts of the country and world I probably wouldn't have been to see if our family was much bigger.
4.) Being an only child can also be good for your self-esteem. I never had a brother or sister to compare myself to. I've always thought it would have been just horrendous to be "the ugly one" or "the short one" or God forbid, "the fat one". Shudder. My parents thought I hung the moon, and they frequently told me how proud they were of my accomplishments. Likewise, I took that pride very seriously and even today I try my best to never disappoint them or make them embarrassed to be my parents.
Mom and Dad....cute, huh?
Yeah, there were some drawbacks to being an only child. It was lonely at times, but that in turn helped me develop a great imagination and a love for reading and writing. And I will admit that sometimes all of that attention and pressure to be the perfect child got to me. My mom was especially strict and worried way too much about me-probably because I was her one and only. (I've heard moms are always less strict on the second, third, etc kids in line) Eventually I know there will come a time when my parents won't be here and I'll be left as the sole person to handle all of their affairs. I can only imagine how hard that is to go through even with siblings to lean on, much less alone.
But in the end, I'm glad I was an only child. I'm independent, outgoing, creative, imaginative, and driven which no doubt came from my experiences growing up with no siblings.
H and I haven't really decided if we want more children or not. Since we don't need more field hands and none of our offspring would be tall enough to form some sort of family basketball team league, we are still on the fence about reproducing again. The experience of this first one (from pregnancy to childbirth to now) has been so easy, I'm afraid I would have some sort of Rosemary's Baby situation next go round!
And I mean honestly...when you get it perfect the first time there is really no need to try again, right? :)
Disclaimer: However, if anyone at TLC is reading this blog post right now: My uterus can be seduced with promises of any sort of reality show involving us, our dogs, and a shit-ton of kids. Although we may not make the best produce pickers or basketball stars, we are incredibly entertaining!