There were many times growing up that I wished I was an only child. Like when I got in a fight with my brother, or was made to babysit--against my will--because it was "part of being a family member" or when I was forced to share a bedroom with two little girls (5 years and 8 years younger than me), or when I was dying for attention or needed help with homework or wanted shopping money or. . . . I could go on but you get it, especially if you were not an only child!
Next week I get my wish.
When I was 19 my younger brother died. When I was 26 my baby sister moved to Oklahoma where she lives with her family. When I was 32 my other little brother went to Korea on a mission and then moved to Idaho where he still resides with his wife. Now, when I am 35, my other little sister and her family are taking off to live clear across the country in the far away state of South Carolina. And I am here, left behind. An only child.
I don't think I want this anymore.
I am very excited for her. Her husband will have a great job. They have purchased a large, beautiful home in a very nice neighborhood (with a lake!). They will have great experiences as a family that can only be had so far from home: they will learn to rely on each other like never before, they will develop new family traditions, they will gain new perspectives on life and their objectives in it. It will be great for them.
So, I'm trying to be very optimistic and supportive.
On Friday I helped some of her friends put together a going away party for her family. I'm helping her pack. I'll be flying on the plane with her and her four kids. I'll help her unpack, sign the kids up for school, buy some furniture, stock her pantry.
And then I'll fly home. Alone.
My mom will pick me, the last remnant of her brood, up from the airport. We will go out to lunch more often. She will shower my children with gifts and be available for more sleepovers because she is no longer dividing her time between grandkids. My dad will call us when they want a double date for a movie night. He will be overjoyed (even more overjoyed than he is now) when his only local grandkids show up at his office. We'll get lots of attention and love--we'll be in the spotlight like never before! I'll have just what I always wanted. I'll be an only (lonely) child.
I'd rather have my sister.