Platos Cave: Learned to Love
I grew up as an only child until I was nine years old. I loved being an only child because I never had to try very hard to be the centre of attention. I would notice my friends who had siblings that never seemed to get along with them. I would listen to my friends go on and on to me about how their sisters and brothers always antagonized, teased and tattled on them. All those sibling horror stories made me grateful to come home to a quiet, peaceful house where my toys were all mine and where I would get almost everything I wanted. I felt sort of like a princess. Being an only grandchild also had many perks. My grandparents spoiled me on a whole other level. I was taken along on vacations to Cuba, Prince Edward Island, Maui. I spent endless summers at Okanagan and Alouette Lake. I had it good and I knew it. I was spoiled – and not just for birthdays. I was naive about what it means to share.
When I turned nine, my father introduced me to his new girlfriend Kelsi. I adored her immediately and I was excited and grateful to have another motherly figure but I had no idea how long the relationship might last. Soon after we met, I was told that Kelsi has a three-year-old daughter and a six-year-old son of her own. I felt betrayed. So now I needed to just be okay with two younger kids that I had to treat as my siblings? Would they truly be a part of my family? After about a year or so of constant bicker, tattle tailing, hair pulling, and making the living room into a battlefield we finally started to get along. Not only did we get along, but we began to confide in and rely on each other as well. We began to trust one another and give up things for each other and put one another before ourselves. I learned to love my siblings for their flaws as much as I love them for their gifts. I stepped out of my cave by realizing that being an only child is maybe not the best life has to offer. I realized that my life would be so dull without siblings because they are my best friends that I could never live without. With time, our battlefield living room turned into our safe-haven.