I am sitting on our family’s reclining couch that we’ve had for as long as I can remember. It’s that same brown couch that my father, my mother, my brother, my sister, and even our dogs, have all sat on. It’s the family couch. Big enough to fit everyone, no one left out. It’s where we’ve sat watching movies together, listening to thunderstorms, talking about how our days went, and counting down into each New Year.
This couch, too big for just one person, has become mine. I have the television remote owning complete power over what I would like to watch without considering someone else’s vote. ‘No siblings here to fight over what to watch. You’d think that being the youngest child was easy, but I miss fighting with them, I miss being teased, and I miss having them in my company. Some say the youngest kids are “spoiled”, “have it easy”, “get away with things”, “are lucky to be the youngest”, and more. That’s not it at all. We have to earn what we get. We get away with less because our parents were young as well and have already gone through parenting with our older siblings. We don’t have it easy, if anything, it’s harder. The pressure is intensified to be wise in the decisions we make and learn from our parents and siblings. There’s that pressure of being your parents’ last child and wanting to make life special for them.
I’ve spent my whole life making others proud, anticipating having a boyfriend, making money at a job, getting married, having kids, owning a cell phone, going to college, living on my own, but little have I realized how fast some of these “luxuries” arrive. I remember sitting in the playroom of our house downstairs as my brother ripped all the heads off of my boy Polly Pocket dolls. Or cooking in the kitchen on my Easy Bake Oven with my sister. Or making my brother and sister watch Cats the Musical on repeat with me all... day... every... day. Now, I am sitting here in the room next to that playroom praying to God for a time capsule to send me back to relive those moments before I never could again.
In the past year, both of my siblings have gotten married, while I am still single (as a Pringle) trying to get my college degree. I live at home with my parents. The same home I lived in when our home was fuller. Now it’s the three of us plus a beta fish and rescued Papillon dog, minus my siblings and my childhood dog. Big home, smaller family. I’d do anything to stop growing up. I’m the youngest. Too young to comprehend these changes in life. I come to this brown “L-shaped” couch often because it’s the only thing remotely close to feeling the comfort of my siblings.