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Only children are awesome. My best friend is an only
child. So was John Lennon, Eleanor Roosevelt and Gandhi. And Natalie Portman.
Actually, she's kind of an asshole and once shushed me for opening Twizzlers
during a screening of "Munich," so disregard her. But overall, the stuff they say
about onlies being maladjusted just isn't true.
It's not only
acceptable, but also pretty darn awesome, to be a family of three. You can do a lot more,
give your kid more one-on-one attention (something that, as a parent of twins,
I'm extremely jealous of). There's also a lot of societal pressure to have two children,
so having one is actually kind of revolutionary. It takes balls. And vagina.
And the discretion not to put them together.
All that being said, after a recent family emergency,
I was really, really glad to have a sib.
Having a sister means that we won't have to face our
parents getting older alone. My sister could have taken the trip to be there for our parents without me, but then she'd
have been sandwiched between two strong-smelling European men instead of
drinking white wine from the bar cart and chatting across the aisle with me about "The Real Housewives of
New York." By the time we had reached enough of a cruising altitude that we could get Terra Blues Chips, I knew I had come on this trip for a purpose. My
sister was responsible for managing my parents, and I was in charge of hanging
out with her.
She could have done it without me, I know this. But
then we would have missed the shared experience of meeting Christine, the surly cab
driver who shouted at passing trucks to "get out of my way you fucking
assholes!" and regaled us with stories of being a "big girl" who traded off her
looks to earn big tips at the Waffle House.
"I'm glad you're not an asshole," said my sister as she wearily laid out her clothes for the morning.
As we sat outside of a Starbucks on a commercial
strip, waiting for news on our family member, it was strange to realize that this was the most time the two of us had
spent together in years, since both of us became mothers.
What would it have been like to handle a family crisis alone? I
imagined the day being a lot more somber, the weight of the situation being a whole lot
After learning everything would be OK, we shuffled back
to the hotel room and set our alarms for 4:30 in anticipation of the next day's 6 a.m. flight.