An Only Child with Three Siblings


To be an only child with three siblings is like being a flower without petals. To build a building with no supplies. To cook a pizza with pineapple on it. 

It just doesn’t make sense.

Yet, I grew up as an only child with three older brothers. 

My oldest brother was always reserved and responsible. The middle brother had the brightest smile I’ve ever seen. And my youngest brother is the most outgoing person one can ever meet. 

Then there’s me. The youngest of them all. The princess, of course. 

I’m the one who gets everything they want. I’m the one who gets to sit on the pearly white couch in the main living room, even though I spilled chocolate pudding all over it. And while this was luxurious for the first five years of my life, it ended abruptly once my parents divorced.

I don’t blame the divorce or how I feel as an only child on anyone. It was just a result.

I lived mainly with my mom in an apartment in Yonkers that we still reside in. My dad would come to pick me up every other weekend to bring me to our house in upstate New York. The house I grew up in. The house we all lived in. 

It was hard living in the house, in my same bedroom, with a different perspective. Instead of hearing screaming between my mom and dad or all the boys playing video games, it was quiet. 

My room there had a drawing of Winnie the Pooh eating a jar of sweet honey my middle brother drew. After the divorce, I wondered if my brother remembered the sweet sentiment on the wall. 


My dad passed away a few years after the divorce. I guess life without Mom dramatically changed everything for him. 

It was a rough and confusing time for me. To show up to such an event as the wake and funeral without my mom seemed impossible. But she couldn’t bear to face her ex-husband’s dead body and his family watching. Understandably so. 

But my middle brother took me. He was the only brother that I stayed close to after the divorce. My brothers sort of split when my parents split. Since my oldest and youngest brother were biologically my dads and my middle brother my moms, I guess it made the most sense for them to stick to their biological parent’s side. 

However, after my dad’s passing, there seemed to be a desire to shift that since there was one parent left. My youngest brother had invited my middle brother and me to his house with his kids and my oldest brother’s kids. There was going to be pizza and cookie cakes so how could we resist?

And it was a good day. I liked getting to see my nieces and nephew of course. But a part of me couldn’t resist being overcome by jealousy. 

I sat on the living room couch and observed my brothers reuniting. Getting along as if the divorce never even happened. It was amazing to see their connection, don’t get me wrong. But I didn’t have that with all of them. I didn’t get to grow up with them as they did with each other. 

Instead, I grew up feeling like an only child. Teachers would ask in my middle school which children were one and only. This meant we were an only child or the only child in our family attending the school. I fell into that category. They did that to ensure our family received any important letters or notices. It made me feel weird though.

I was in this category of children that I shouldn’t be in. I had three older brothers who I knew loved me very much. But they weren’t there. It was just me growing up alone. 

The one and only. 


My middle brother passed away years later in 2017. It was the hardest thing I’ve been through in my life so far. And yet another death that brought my brothers back to me. 

I thought this one would change everything. It didn’t.

But I understand. My brothers have their own families now they created. Kids to take care of and jobs to slave at. I don’t blame them.

I am an adult now too. I can pick up the phone. Create time. Make plans. But I don’t. I prioritize other school work, too many extracurriculars, multiple jobs or internships, and friends and parties.

So at the end of the day, I’m still an only child with three siblings. Like a bike without wheels. Or maybe a car without tires. Or even a skateboard without wheels. 

Still, it just doesn’t make sense.