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Most of the time, people will ask people with an only child, “when are you having another one” or “are you planning to have another one”. Rarely, people will tell people, “it is fine to just have one” or “the kid is fine on his/her own”; unless they themselves have only one kid, that is, because they’d decided for themselves that they only wanted one kid. Yet, there are those also who have only one kid; they’d tell you, “I regret not having more, because the kid grew up really lonely.”

Lonely. That’s the word. The much misperceived culprit that lure parents to have more and more kids, for the wrong reason – so that the children will have each other, when they are ‘gone’. While there are people who simply love having more children, many parents strongly believe that it is always nice for their kids to have siblings – because they never had siblings (hence imagines that it is nice to have siblings), or because they have siblings (enjoyed the support from siblinghood).

I am not denying that siblings have a lot of fun together; but I am also acknowledging that not everybody is close to their siblings. Close, but not the closest. Take for instance, would you tell your deepest darkest secret to your sibling? Possible, but highly unlikely.

I’ve observed in my own siblinghood and that of my husband’s – the siblings are close, yet not very close; not close, yet very close. We stand in unity when there is a ‘problem’ to be faced, or an ‘occasion’ to be celebrated. Other than that, we are on our own. Willing at heart, the ‘problem’ or ‘occasion’ is experienced with much fun and laughter; unwilling at heart, feelings of grudge, blame and resentment surfaces. It is as if when there is a need to get close, the possibility to get close is materialized. If not, we are all on our own. And I wondered if there are no siblings, does that mean that I would not survive?

Now that I am on my spiritual journey, I am more aware of the types of conversation I have with my siblings. I realize that I communicate differently to one, and differently to another. So similar to experiencing a Multiple Personality Disorder as cited in my earlier post of Authenticity. Not that I love one more than the other, but one just tends to be more receptive to what I share than the other; and really, does at all that justify my communicating to each of them differently? Indeed a strange behavior.

Yesterday I realized that even if we are born in the same family, brought up the same way; we are all different. We have different dreams, different ways of live, different meanings of life. It’s not that I would not share what I’ve learnt with my siblings, but are they really my siblings? Or just a figment of my imagination?

And then I pondered why have more kids? Because the first child may be lonely; have no one to play with; no one to talk to; no one to discuss with concerning any important issues in his or her life?  How often is it that I turn to my siblings, or my siblings turn to me to discuss or make a decision about a life-important matter? I’d say, nil. I’d discuss deeply with my partner, my friends, professionals or even counselors but hardly ever, with my very own siblings.

I have always felt ‘alone’ in my journey in life eventhough I have siblings anyway. So what difference does it make to have or not have siblings, except to declare that ‘I have siblings’? How often do we really connect deeply with each other, or encourage each other to grow if not share our deepest darkest secret with any one of them. Definitely, there are some siblings who are that close. But that is not what I experience in my space. And from observation too, there are, in some siblinghood a sort of subtle competition between each other to outdo each other.

Continuing the journey of reclaiming self; we are each, alone. There comes to a point in time when we start identifying all the faulty ideas we have in the mind and begin standing in our own integrity and be true to ourselves which entails a sort of loneliness that accompanies it, in the space of ignorance. In the space of Wisdom, it is aloneness.  And mind you, they are different.

It is finding that joy, love and peace that has never left us and that we are so contained in our aloneness that there is freedom abiding. So sibling or not, it doesn’t really matter. And if it does not matter, why does a child need at least, a sibling? They (the siblings and the children) are afterall, just our imagination; so are our partners, parents, friends and enemies.

3 Responses to ““Aloneness” in Siblinghood”

  1. Alina Grace says:

    I love this article of yours. I think it is so because it very much relates to me as well. We’re both in the same boat.

    For me, the constant irritations are the people asking when I’m having No. 2 and when my retort is that I don’t want anymore, then I get this ‘advice’ that I should have another as poor Caitlin will be so lonely when hubby and I DIE!!!!

    So, I feel what you feel and I absolutely agree with you. I think it’s lame to claim that a child should have another sibling to keep company. Don’t get me wrong, I have no regrets having siblings but believe you me…they’re the last people I run to if I have a problem. I normally run to my friends. Friends like you who I can trust and relate to…not my siblings. I guess we’re in a different zone. Hahahhaahhaha……

    I think been lonely or having company is very much dependable on oneself and how one brings up their only children.

    Caitlin is never lacking of love from hubby and I. From Yuli, her ‘kakak’, from her godparents and godsisters, from aunties like you and in time to come….from all her besties as she goes to school and grows up to be a woman, a wife, a mother, a mother in-law and eventually a grandmother.

    If we bring up our children with confidence and lots of love; I truly believe they will grow up to be very well rounded and happy children regardless whether they have siblings or not.

    The truth I feel is that many parents in the Asian society have plenty of children with the hope that these children of theirs will grow up to take care of them when they are old! In my honest opinion, I believe that when you have a child, it is because you want to and not because you have them to take care of you when you are old age.

    It should not be their responisbility. They didn’t asked to be born, you know. If they do take care of us old parents, that’s a HUGE plus but nevertheless as parents, we should give them that freedom to run their lives the way they should and not what we want them to.

    Hmmmm….you have given me something to blog about…..

    Sorry for such a long reply…… 😛

  2. melcisum says:

    I have often pondered these ideas as well. I am an only child, and to be perfectly honest, I have for the most part I have never felt lonely. Perhaps being the only child of divorced parents just calls for being showered in attention, but regardless the reason, I have always had parents in my corner and good friends at my sides. Never sharing toys, having lots of attention, all in all it’s a great gig.

    And yet, when my father was sitting in his hospital bed having his chemotherapy treatments, I longed for another person to share the burden of care and who would be around to remember how amazing he was as a father. And there was no one to be found…

    So, I have two children. And that terrified me because I couldn’t imagine loving another child as much I loved the first. (Though this was silly, and I’m fairly confident I could have many more and love them as just much.) And, I am hopeful they will always bring one another peace and a sense of someone in their corner. But after all this, I have realized, even when my parents are gone, I will not be alone. I have surrounded myself with love and family, stronger than those bonds delegated by bloodlines alone. And I am very hopeful that my boys born as brothers will transcend and become true friends. And if not, I sure hope they find others who will fill that role.

    Good luck on your spiritual journey. Thank you for the insightful blog!

    • GG says:

      Hi Melcisum, welcome! Thanks for sharing your experiences on siblinghood. All of us derive different ideas from our experiences. I have a friend who is the only child, also felt the same way you did when her mom was admitted into the hospital for heart attack. At that point in time, she too wished that she had a sibling to share those moments with her. This is usually the case, we don’t usually wish for anything more until something happens.

      Your boys are blessed to have you as their parent, and I like the way you put it – brotherhood transcending to true friends, which paradoxically, is a deeper meaning of brotherhood – the kind the exists beyond bloodlines and family names.

      Thanks for dropping by and your comments. Wishing you too, a life filled with wonderful experiences… 🙂

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