I’m an athletically-gifted, lazy and overachieving kid all at once. How?
I’m an only child.
Crazy, right? I like to think that my mother felt I was too perfect and didn’t want to add another kid, but the truth burns like no other. She was in labor for 36 hours and all her hopes and dreams of another Baby Cooper were gone in an instant.
Being an only child, I’m the ultimate guinea pig, from hairstyles to wearing full PUMA tracksuits to school.
Oftentimes, after getting to know someone, the topic of siblings arises. As a journalism major, I typically lead the questions and ask how many siblings they have. The usual two or three is their response and they, without fail, respond back with: “You don’t have any. Do you?”
I grasp my (invisible) pearls with a shocked facial expression as I hear their response. What makes it so obvious?
Since first grade, I’ve learned to share my crayons. Since sixth grade, I’ve learned to play team sports. Since freshman year of college, I’ve learned how to live with roommates.
Despite my best efforts, I’m still caught in the only child label. And in retrospect, I can see what the dead giveaways are.
We’re the first to light up a room. With a lack of peers around us 24/7, our self-entertainment skills are unmatched. Now that I’m in college with random bursts of free time, there’s never a dull moment.
When I’m walking into a room, adults aren’t so intimidating. I talk to them more frequently than others closer to my own age.
Friends aren’t family in the worst way possible. Despite two-week sleepovers over the
summer and four-hour long FaceTime chats, it doesn’t change the fact that they still aren’t able to stay long-term.
Sharing is a personal preference. Sadly, to this day, I still briefly hesitate when someone asks me to share something with them. It’s truly not you, it’s me.
We love the idea of pets. Unless you’re allergic to dog and cat hair like me. Then, you get a betta fish. I named mine Bella, and she lasted nearly 72 hours while in my custody. Let me explain — Bella was a birthday gift and it was mid-July with a scalding temperature of 105 degrees. Our air conditioning unit was set at 68 degrees to offset the outside elements. I impulsively went to a friends house for a sleepover and didn’t remind my mother to turn off the air conditioning overnight. I came home the next morning to an ice cube that didn’t rap.
At the end of the day, we have our perks and our pitfalls, but in a world full of siblings, our presence is needed.