I have been thinking a lot about siblings. Knowing D will probably not have any, I was thinking about if that is a good thing or a bad thing. I have decided it is really neither. It is just a different thing, both with pros and cons. I can only speak from my experience of being the oldest with 5 siblings younger than me, but I think there are also pros and cons to having siblings.
Having two sisters just younger than me and three brothers younger than them, there was usually always someone to play with. We did crazy things. We put on plays, made movies, has photo shoots that often required us to dress up the younger boys, we played house and school and even library, and may more creative, over the top ideas. I remember my sister and I making a "secret" hideout in the attic. We even bought each other little Christmas gifts that we wrapped and placed in the hideout. After all the other gifts were open, we went up there to exchange gifts. I remember writing notes to my sister in the evenings when we should have been in bed and sneaking into the hallway and leaving them in a special place where they would go and find them. They would write back. I remember waking up at 3 AM on Christmas morning and playing games with my two sisters until it was finally time we could go and wake up our parents. Of course there was some present peeking. One time we even made made a paper mache cast for one of my sister when playing doctor.
I could go on and on with silly memories, but there were more than just fun times. There were times you knew we loved one another. I remember my sister passing up on a chance to go somewhere fun with a friend of ours because the friend said I couldn't come too. I can picture my sister standing in the dining room, a little teary, explaining that she told her friend if she wouldn't let me come, she wasn't going either. I remember my youngest brother sleeping in my room many nights. He always would say, "Let's talk." Then he would pick a topic and tell me to go first. And he always wanted to make up jokes. I remember telling him when it was finally time to stop talking. Recently my brother willingly drove across the country to help us move.
I am sad these are things D will never get to share with any siblings. But of course any of you who have siblings or who have raised siblings know, it usually isn't all sunshine and rainbows. There are a lot of rainstorms. I won't go into specifics, but there is childhood fighting, sibling rivalry, comparing one another to each other, being defensive, disagreements, misunderstands, sometimes lack of compassion or understand. In case any of my siblings actually read this, I am not implying I am guilt free of these activities. :) We are all guilty of getting caught up in ourselves and end up being unkind to our siblings. This kind of unkindness can hurt the worst because your siblings are suppose to love you and accept you and be considerate of you.
Also, I am told that only children grow up more confident because they get all their parents attention and love. I am sure this is true in some ways, but I don't think families with siblings are destined to feel less loved. Growing up, I don't ever remember thinking my parents had a favorite or loved me less because I had siblings. I might have thought it at times, but it was probably because I was just throwing myself a teenage pity party.
D will never have this same kind of hurt and competition. He has his parents full attention. There will be no perceived comparison or competition. He is not fighting for input in family matters. There are definitely pros to being an only child. The question is whether or not the pros out weight the cons. Coming from a family with 6 kids, I would have to say no, but I know there are those who would disagree.
The fact of the matter is D will have a different childhood experience from either my husband or me. For better or worse.