I had a discussion recently with someone about being an only child; they were an only child (as am I) and didn't like it. They would have preferred having a sibling. She was raised by her grandparents, so having a brother or sister would have given her someone in her age range to spend time with. My father is the age of most people's grandparents, so I can relate. Though if you ask, which people have, I was and am ok with being an only child. I don't really know what I would have missed so how could I miss it. I never had to share (although I do know how), there were never arguments over who would get what (I always got it) and I was always the centre of my parents attention (didn't have to struggle to get noticed). As a child if there was something I wanted it didn't need to be balanced between what the other kids in the family wanted or needed. The budget belonged to me, so to speak. (You can call that spoiled if you like, I consider it 'well taken care of')
As an adult however, being the only child, the care and welfare of my parents falls squarely on my non-siblinged shoulders. Medical appointments, property management, errands and the like are my burden ( thankfully things are far from being burdenous, but you get the idea). Perhaps if I had a sibling they would assist in these often trivial, yet time consuming 'cares' for our parents. Perhaps...they wouldn't. They might live on a different continent and be no help whatsoever, even live in the same town and still be of no assistance. Worse yet....they would be entitled to a part of my family's multi-billion dollar estate (HA!) Seriously though, I don't miss having a brother or sister, nor do I know what I missed. I suppose reaping the benefits of being a sole-child is the reward for being the parental caregiver.
A friend of mine calls me part of the "Sandwich Generation". People who are in the middle of caring for their young children as well as their elderly parents. I have friends who have kids in their 20's, my daughter is 8. I have friends whose parents are just now considering retirement, my father retired the year I graduated high-school - he is now 88.
Until next time.