28 June – 4 July : Hardest part about growing up.
One of the things that was hard for me growing up was the fact I was an only child. There is the misguided idea that an only child is spoilt and gets everything. But this isn’t always the way especially when parents are level headed and make sure the only child isn’t brought up this way. My parents brought me up in a Christian home where a certain % of your income was given to the church. This pretty much made sure that any chances of being spoilt were out the window. My parents were and still are the kind that will help anyone with anything. So when they realised an elderly lady in their church was struggling and had no family they stepped in helped. This wasn’t just everyday help like getting shopping but financial help too. My parents were not big earners so to being doing this was a strain in the purse strings. So not only was being spoilt off the cards so was new things like clothes or shoes.
Being the only child meant a lot of alone time too. I had to learn to occupy myself a lot. There was no sibling arguments but also no sibling togetherness. There was no healthy sibling competition with sports, grades or vanity. My daughter is now at the age that her teenage younger brother is just plain annoying and embarrassing, well to her anyway. She is always asking me why did I have two children and I tell her because I know what its like not to have brothers or sisters. She thinks that I am talking absolute nonsense.
The hardest part about growing up was that at the time I saw it all from my childlike view. I saw my parents constantly struggling with money, me in second hand clothes and them giving money to the church and a old lady. It was very easy to think I wasn’t that important. In truth my parents were teaching me some of the best lessons in life and ones that are still with me today.