Steph's Friend

Monday, April 09, 2007

The First Child In The Family

When you were the only child in the family, all attention was given to you. When you have brothers/sisters, that attention is divided equally/unequally. While some say that being the firstborn means you have your own room (which I don't have), have more arguing power compared to your siblings (not sure about this) and the first to get new school books (because your siblings will use your books in the future), I feel that being the firstborn carries with it certain responsibilities. It's kinda like with-great-power-comes-great-responsibility feel but without the web slinging and anyone saving the world from impending doom.

When I was young, I remembered someone telling me that when my dad's overseas, I had to ensure that the family is in order because I am the firstborn. It was a casual remark. Who was it? I can't remember. It may be my dad or someone else. At that time, I was young and thought that I have my mum to depend on when my dad's overseas. I was right and wrong. Right because my mum would tell us what to do when my dad's not around. Wrong because my mum is now sick and my dad's overseas. I guess when that happens, the firstborn would need to help ensure that the house is in order.

My dad's overseas and my mum's sick. I realized that taking care of a family isn't that easy. You need to ensure that your family members have food and household chores (eg, washing clothes) had to be attended to. Of course everyone in the family plays a part in helping out one way or another, but somehow that phrase which I heard when I was young seems to hint that the firstborn has a greater part. It was scary at first, after all I am not even an adult yet, but I guess at times unpleasant things occur and we need to respond appropriately to the situation.

To make things worse, just a while ago there was some bad news. It was quite bad. I won't elaborate on it. The thought of it simply seems...unthinkable.

So what do we have? Not a very pleasant situation but nevertheless it's not the end of the world. It's ironic that I quoted this earlier to someone I know, but I feel that it's applicable to the current situation.

"The difficulties of life are intended to make us better, not bitter." ~ Author Unknown.

We can't control the things that happen to us, but we can control our response to the situation.


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