Friday, October 21, 2011


(A Lighthearted Look at My Evolution
Along the "Born Alone" to "Died Alone" Existence)

Being an only child is a double-edged sword.  There's no competition, but also no company.  There's no peer pressure, sibling rivalry, or instructive example.  The reason most animals have litters is to insure survival.  They learn by example what to do and what not.  The only child is a bungee-jumping, first kid in the water, experimental crash-dummy in her family.  I bear the scars.

Notice the Troubled Look as I Toddle About Trying to Get Adult Attention

I remember my parents attempts to safely situate me out of their way as they worked.  I was put here or there with something to occupy me, or so they planned.  I would tire of my parental provided project and usually blaze a path down the road seen behind me in the above photo.  This was met with shrill opposition and whirling, blinking lights or so it seemed.  Sometimes there was a "switch" involved.   A switch is a thin flexible branch picked for its ability to wring an audible whistle from the air when waved about like a whip.  I was undeterred in my pioneer spirit.

Finally, my parents resorted to fencing.  When I was found dangling by my underpants on a picket by my grandfather, who offered criticism, they resorted to a harness and tether.  That's right, my spontaneous desire for freedom and novel experience was dampened by equine "persuaders."  Happily, I was not fitted with a snaffle bit (horse mouthpiece).  Once again Grandpa objected, God bless him, and I began spending more time at his house.

About Age 4 

I became a bother to Grandpa and my Step Grandma, Inez.  She taught me to tie my shoes.  She told me about the sinking of the Titanic (a long descriptive story).  She had good biscuits.  

Still, I was a misfit in my world and I never quite solved that riddle of where I belonged.  Today my malaise does not beg remedy.  It begs more isolation.  If I were to be a museum piece, I'd be the medieval suit of armor, empty and immobile, immersed in it all and aware, but an unmovable, non-participant bystander.  It's not a choice, it's just a fact of the conditioned mind.  It's why I had a litter of three.

I Smile for the Portrait Photographer Actually Focusing on Me
(Not Realizing It Was Just His Job)


  1. I was an only child for less than two years, and once my brother started to walk, I was the good kid. In between, when he was a baby and I a toddler, Mom had to resort to the harness and leash (I use dog terminology because we never had horses) so she could take me for walks and carry the baby at the same time. I don't know why she didn't put him in a buggy or stroller, although it's probably because he would have climbed out, even at two or three months of age.
    I'm glad you had a sense of adventure even without siblings, and I'm enjoying your posts about the photos you find in your search, but I've forgotten, is this an attempt at organization or a trip down memory lane or both?

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

  2. It is simply an urge I can't ignore. A bubbling up of reflections induced by recalling the moments in these ancient photos. A wrapping up of assorted loose ends floating around in consciousness.

    I've been depressed, can you tell? More incense and meditation required.

  3. Well, I think you were adorable and see a lot of CB Daughter in these photos. I can't imagine being an only child, every story worth telling from my childhood involves the two sisters. (Usually torturing them in some way, unfortunately...)

    I wish you had siblings too, although Nellie is not far from being a combination sister/aunt.

    Baby Sis will be in town tomorrow, maybe she can help liven and cheer things up.

    Watch the movie Bridesmaids a few times, that'll help too. (Pay particular attention to that character Meagan, she cracks me right up just looking at her. When she does the flop onto the couch at the bridal salon I burst into hysterics every single time.)

  4. I know what you mean about old photos. Nostalgia twinged with regret twinged with a few other things, but I hope you're undepressed soon.
    — K

  5. I want to market Prozac water- you know, like the Vitamin Water they sell. But with Prozac. That's my newest idea. I think it would sell well.

    I was an only child for 7 years. Technically according to the personality of birth order, I am still considered an only child as I prefer to do things myself (as that ensures that it gets done right the first time).

  6. Love these haven't changed at all! And I mean it!