The One and Only

By Corey Knapp

“One is the loneliest number,” but is it really?  I am an only child to a single mother. That sounds like solitude times two. It’s not. It’s the only way I know, and I wouldn’t want it to be any different.

Throughout my life, the conversations that I’ve had about me being an only child significantly outnumber those about me growing up and living with just my mom.  

Obviously one is an easier and probably lighter topic to discuss (‘don’t you get bored or lonely?’), but I have no sore spot for the other. Occasionally I think about what it would be like to have siblings and/or a two-parent household when I see my friends’ big families or a teammate with both mom and dad watching him play.  

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But I prefer not to think about such things, not because it makes me mad or sad (it doesn’t) but because I don’t need to. I’m perfectly content with the way things are. I like to think about what is here in my life and what I can control, not what-ifs of any kind.  

Being an only child with a single mom is awesome, and it’s probably not hard to tell just how much I enjoy it. Half of my input into conversations starts with “my mom and I…”  

On all of my college essays and bios I wrote that I keep to myself a lot, enjoy having time to myself, and do my own thing, qualities that have not changed.  And when I’m home for breaks, my mom and I love sitting on the couch together doing absolutely nothing.

Life as an only child allows me to be comfortable in situations from which others may shy away. Fear of missing out is not really a problem for me. I’m good in my living room with my DVR.  

Craving a certain restaurant, but my friends already ate?  I’ll go enjoy by myself.  Tickets for a game or concert, but everyone is busy?  I’m going to go and have a good time on my own.  

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And more often than not, I’ll go with my mom to these events because we are so close, share so many of the same interests, and have so much fun spending time together.

Too often, I witness people struggle to sit still for an hour waiting to see what everybody else is doing or avoid doing things they like because no one else is. I want to offer a piece of advice from my perspective, but I am not trying to tell you to be like me.  

All I want to do is encourage you, only child or not, to be yourself and do what makes you happy.

If you have to go solo, try it, and maybe you’ll like it.  Who knows, maybe you’ll meet somebody on his or her own trying out the same thing.   

Alone and lonely are two different things.  It’s hard for me to say that I have made the most out of being the only child of a single mom.

I think that conveys, even if in the slightest way, that I was ever unhappy with this scenario.  Instead, I’ll say I own it, and so does my mom. Lonely?  Child please.  

She loves me, and I love her. We are not alone. There’s not a stronger bond on this Earth.

 

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