Only Child Part 2
Just moments after I pressed “Publish” for my recent post entitled “Only Child,” I began to feel guilty. “What kind of person am I that I would not see siblings as needed daily companions, but rather as punching bags?” Well, my parents and Aunt Dot and Uncle Sam, along with my own vivid imagination were evidently companions enough.
One of the adults was always available to play a game with me: Authors, Old Maid, Sorry, Flinch, and Monopoly. My mother was an expert at jacks, and we would play by the hour. Dot and Sam read to me: Heidi, The Secret Garden, Pollyanna, A Little Princess, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, all the Pepper Family books, and too many more to mention. I could usually talk an adult into being a pupil in my playschool which I took very seriously. I would plan complete lessons, write notes home, and issue report cards. My mother finally refused to play if she had to be “Laura Recupero” as Laura always got into trouble and had to stay after school. As for playing church, that was a group activity with all four adults there to sing, pray, and listen to my sermons.
If all else failed, I drafted my Teddy bear and dolls, sometimes even the cat. I was a very devoted “Mom” to the point of getting up in the night when I had a sick doll. When my cat poked holes in my doll Diana’s legs, I said she had the chicken pox. Finally I had so many dolls that I pretended I was running an orphanage.
Of course in favorable weather I was outside playing with my friends as described in another post, but if I had to be inside, I was very good at keeping myself busy: I would take everything out of the kitchen cupboards and reorganize, I would catalog all the books in the house, I would pack a suitcase, line up the dining room chairs, and sit for hours on “the train.” As I got a bit older, I would bake: cakes and popovers were my specialty. I would play the piano.
Sigh of relief! No wonder I didn’t feel the need of sibling companionship. I had all the companionship I needed, albeit from an unusual source.
Dorothy C. Judd © 2016