For those who may be wondering, the term “Desi” basically refers to anyone from the subcontinent region – specifically Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. We’re a turbulent people with a shared history and extremely rich culture. Within this crazy awesome culture most people still believe that a child is essentially raised by the village, not by the parents alone. In fact, more often than not if you tell your parents/inlaws/aunts/friends of in-laws and parents or even the lady standing next to you at the grocery store that you don’t much care for what they have to say regarding how you raise your child – you’re absolutely nuts in societies’ view.
Other than having overly involved everybody’s, siblings are the way of the world. In fact, hey’re the ONLY way of the world. The concept “only child” doesn’t exist in this society. Neither does the concept of adoption in most cases. So basically couples are expected to have AT LEAST 2 kids, though that’s a small family. Also, the idea of problems with conception, miscarriages and *gasp* the decision to have one or no children simply does not exist here.
So what happens when you have an only child? You (and your kid) start hearing things that may be well intended but just give you an Ally McBeal moment. Remember those? Where she used to imagine hitting someone in the face with a frying pan or kicking them out’ve the building? I could put pictures up for all the Ally McBeal moments I have but we’d end up with a coffee table book and not a blog post. So instead, here are my Ally McBeal answers that I REALLY wish I could give people. Who knows, one day I just might. But for now, they’ll remain between us.
Set Scene: Family friend of in-laws merrily making her way out the door after a huge dinner.
Family Friend: God willing, it’s time for you to give her a sibling
Me: Well, guess what, God’s not willing. I think He wants me to have just this one. In fact, what you don’t know is that He has decided to take 2 babies from me already. So you know, I think I’ll be happy and grateful for this one. She’s pretty awesome and that’s good enough for me and for her.
Set Scene: Me and Popo exiting my mom’s house. Popo very excited to go home and get dirty in her sandbox.
Mom (To Popo): WHAT? You’re going to go play all alone?
Me: Uh yeah, she’s got no one else to play with. Why…WHY…would you want to rub that in? And besides, she likes to play alone. She has all her toys to her self and doesn’t have to share with anyone. And no she’s not entirely alone, of course I’ll be around. Infact she gets ME to herself (except for my laptop, phone, crochet project or whatever I might be doing at the moment). But she’s FINE until you make the siutation not fine.
Set Scene: Group of School Moms over coffee discussing their daily schedule.
School Mom: Oh you’ve got it so easy, just wait till you have another baby.
Me: Um, no. There aren’t going to be anymore. And No…it’s not easier to have just one. I’m her only company during day light hours. Me and only me. 5 days a week. Almost all year long. In fact, now that I think about it, can I rent one of yours? Just so she has someone to play with and I can take a break from pretending to be 4 for just 5 minutes?
So many times I start writing thinking, this will NOT be a rant. But you know what? When you put together Only Child and Desi Family you’re going to get exactly that – a rant and rave about society’s pressures, expectations and misunderstandings.
Honestly, learn to live and let live – everyone’s doing the best they can with what they have.