People have always automatically faulted me for being an only child. Whether they vocalized it or not, I could tell in their eyes that they were already forming opinions about me. Sure, being an only child has its perks but most of the time I find myself wishing that I had a younger brother or sister.


Car rides were especially lonely as a kid, not having anyone to pick a fight with or to swap stories with. I yearned for even the simplest of things. As I got older, I found it increasingly embarrassing to find myself being the only one still riding amusement park rides with my parents. Nevertheless, I have formed an unbreakable bond with them- something that I would not trade for anything in the world. As a family, we have gone through struggles that have challenged our willpower but it has only forged us closer together.


One of the biggest misconceptions of being an only child is that I am constantly handed everything on a silver platter but I feel like it is the complete opposite. Growing up in an Asian household, it was engrained in me that I would have to work ten times harder to get where I wanted to be. My parents immigrated from Vietnam many years ago and have since then built themselves what they consider their American Dream. They have worked incredibly hard to run their own business and to become financially secure. Because my parents did not have a lot of opportunities, they made sure that I earned the best grades to make it to the best college.


I know that I will be responsible for taking care of my parents someday, to provide for them when they can no longer do so themselves. Needless to say, I bear a large burden on my shoulders. I feel the pressure to succeed because I am their future. But it is this unknown future that terrifies me. It saddens me to think about what my life will be like when they are no longer here. I will be left to endure the pain that every child must go through. Alone.

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Comment by Jason Sarmiento on March 6, 2011 at 2:15pm
I too am a single child. Though I have a number of half brothers, and half sisters, what burdens me even more is having the same name as my father and carry on his legacy. My parents gave it to me hard, strict Asian household, only limited to do certain things, but I realized they only want me to "succeed" in life. Because my parents are also immigrants from Asia, they know the hardships of life, and know that by pushing myself and the burdens placed on me now to be successful will be rewarding in the future.

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