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.