Here I Am, An Only Child*

So my mom has a story to tell. Perhaps she’s called to tell you. If not, well, it’s not my story even if I have played a minor (not supporting!) role. That will be a post some other time. But the reason I bring it up is because I am on my way back to Texas to help her. And I don’t like it.

As I think we have covered (at nauseam), I had a perfectly wonderful childhood with parents that could afford to give me almost all the time and “stuff” that I could ever want. I know one of the reasons this was possible was because there was only one of me. No way Kid #2 would have received the hand-me-down car or that they could afford high school or college tuition for two. (Hell, my dad would be the first to admit they really couldn’t afford it for one except for the help from ole buddy Master Card.) But what has been on my mind the past several weeks is that they were always there for me in my time of need. Be it a sickness, they were there. I remember my dad taking the day off that one day in 7th grade when I puked (which, except for one incident involving poor Amber’s feet is the last time that happened…knock on wood…) and my mom slathering lotion onto my lizard skin and consoling my tears as I missed my cheerleading finale due to an allergic reaction. There, of course, were too many heartbreaks to mention (boo to you Jim, Steve, Mark, Bob, Brian, Mike, and about 4,500 others!) that were gotten over only from a head pet from mom or a big hug from dad. On September 11 when they were 948 miles away (and terrified) my parents were the only ones who knew the right words to say. And even though he would admit he didn’t know what was happening to me, my dad was my life raft during the ever-present anxiety attacks of my early twenties.

So when I find grown-up me knee deep in Life Shit, I want to turn to them for solace. Mom is doing something amazing right now, but to do it, she needs to turn off her day-to-day mom duties. So where does that leave me? Sure there are family and friends that have come out of the woodwork by the millions over the past eight months, but I want my mom or dad!!! (Please say this last phrase in your best cranky, two-year-old voice.) I want them to come to my room where I’m being sulky, sit on the end of the bed and help me talk it out like they have a thousand times before.

This trip is only a small blimp in the list of responsibilities that lie ahead of me as my mom and I change roles. The parent will become not the child, but the one needing support, and the child becomes the rock you can count on. Randy was pretty upfront when I whined about this and said “you don’t have a choice.” Obviously, as one of seven, he does not understand the “me, me, me” ways of the Only Child, but I guess he does have a point. Just not sure I’m ready yet…

So as I have said before, those of you with siblings, please be reminded how lucky you are. I would have happily traded the Tooniemobile for an older brother right now. Well, maybe…for having car cancer, I sure loved that car!!!

*An only child on the road…I can’t wait to see Up in the Air. I’m afraid I’m going to relate to it way too much. This post is written from a sunny corner in the Atlanta airport on a Sunday afternoon when I really should be home napping on Randy’s lap or at least playing with the dog. Sigh…

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