All The Churches We Call Home
Faith as a Family Tradition

Pondering the Lonely Only

I didn’t plan it this way. In my younger days, I thought possibly eight or nine. Mom and Dad with a family of our own ready to take the baseball field. A complete team.


Reality looks so different. Isn’t that the way it goes? I blame my husband mostly. He waited to be found until I was 28. Hardly enough time to have a huge brood.


So ours is an only child. That concerns me sometimes. I consider the good and bad involved in being a lonely only.


Pondering The Lonely Only


Our eyes are always on her.

She does have our attention. I suppose that can be a real confidence booster. And our little one does not lack confidence. But I wonder if her world is a bit harder. The rules more stringent. Because of the time and energy we have to invest in her.


Some ladies with multiple children were sharing stories with me the other day. One said when her kids were little she would say the phrase “What were you thinking” multiple times a day. To multiple children.


I nodded. Yes, we have said that phrase too. Then she started relating the causes for her exclamation. Many of which included holes in the dry wall. Or major bumps and bruises. Sometimes on other people.


I cannot even fathom our reaction if damage was done to our dry wall. We have handed out consequences for much, much less. Like the time she dripped craft glue on our concrete floors. Or missed the table with her milk glass. Minor turns major when you’re an only child.


She has no experience with sibling rivalry.

I’ll be the first to admit this can be a big plus. For half my life I was the punching bag for my older brother. Fists and words. Then, when he left for college, I became the instigator. With some fondness, I recall several games of “Shark” played on the living room couch. My little brother always accidentally fell off into the ocean....


Our girl has always been social. She makes friends easily and plays well with other kids, once we got her past the biting stage. Actually, she bit her friend recently when we went camping. That hardly counts though, right?


But the knock-out, drag-down fights you can only have with a brother or sister. She doesn’t know those. That annoying dweeb of a sibling you beat up on a regular basis. No one else can, of course. No one but you. 


Not on her radar. 


All that time spent playing independently.

Our daughter has no choice but to develop a great imagination. What a developing artist with her sketches! She also spends hours singing and making videos. And making her toys sing. And listening to music. A world full of creativity and song.


She never has to share. Think about it. All the toys in the whole house to herself.


And with all that time alone, we have the best conversations. I am not her constant source of entertainment. That wouldn’t be healthy for either of us. But she is my friend. We can sit one on one and talk for hours. We travel together. She goes on mommy and daddy dates. Often. 


Just as I start to wonder if she’s too lonely,  I watch her playing in the yard. The great big yard we’ve provided for her. Chasing chickens, romping with the dogs and picking up the cat for the fifteenth time today. Not a care in the world. 


I smile to myself because once again I can trace God at work. He knows what He is doing. Our Allie has just the family God intended. For her. And He gave us this huge blessing with a personality that could win a popularity contest. Especially if Dad and I were voting.


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