Friday, February 22, 2013

One & Only

DIY-Do it yourself. I never really was aware that growing up most everything I did was DIY. When I learned to tie my shoe there was no one there except me to do it–me and my mom standing over me, who always seemed to think (and still does) that if she just repeats the same thing over and over, except louder, that somehow I will finally realize what it is she is saying–that the bunny goes around the tree loop (first) instead of through it. You can all rest assured I know how to tie my shoes–been doing it for ages.

However, if you snapped at me I might cry–still do.  I couldn’t read facial expressions. I really didn’t know how to interpret a glare or what to do with it...I still don’t. If you grabbed something out of my hand, my gut would scream help–it still does. When I spilled the bowl of ice cream on the carpet there was no one there to blame except me. When I broke the neighbors window with a soft ball there was no one there to point to. My room was my own. My stuff was my stuff. My imagination was my company. But it never occurred to me that all this could have changed the dynamic of the situation had I had a sibling. I never thought about making someone else tie my shoe for me. I never thought about the need to fight for attention, the need to start a competition, or the idea of blaming someone else, that is not in the DIY manual, and being an only child was the only thing I knew, and so DIY was instinctive, and still is.

And until three nights ago I had never really thought about all the factors that go into being an only child and DIY. All these factors are things you can only understand if you, yourself, are an only child (DIYO- Do It Yourself Only). And until three nights ago, I had never been seated at a dinner hosted and shared with a group of “onlys.” Growing up, I was the only–only –until about middle school and then I met one other one, but we never talked about it. And so at dinner three nights ago, we discussed everything from the lighthearted to the heavy, the good times and the bad times… as an only.

While I cannot discuss what was discussed at dinner, (it is considered DIYOC (Do it yourself only confidential)) I will say that I came away with new perspectives, answers to unanswered questions, similarities that I can relate to, and a like minded sense of perspective and trust that was shared among all of us. There is no denying it; all of us were connected with the “only” gene.

Lonely? Hardly. Independent? Move over and watch me do it myself. Soft spoken? Sometimes. Bossy? Just as much as the next person. Spoiled? No, not compared to other kids I know. Knows how to handle her self around adults? Certainly. Has more imaginary friends then other people? Maybe, but who says that is a bad thing? Can’t share? Well, who likes sharing anyway? Patient? Test me. Loves my parents through thick and thin? Duh–everyone should. Can DIY? Always.

This cup is for the DIYO: Thanks for one of the best dinners ever
And to all the other DIYO children out there! Cheers to us!

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