Heir or Sibling: That is the Question

Daily Prompt: Next in Line

A second #RoyalBaby will soon be joining the Windsors in England. Given the choice, would you rather be heir to the throne, or the (probably) off-the-hook sibling?

Sometimes being first is not always the choice position in the lineup. As the oldest of five children, I already know what’s it’s like to carry the weight of responsibility for the family on my shoulders.

Growing up, because I was the oldest, I was also the babysitter for the younger ones and the one who had chores. I was the experimental child on how to raise children. Whether my parents got it right or wrong, it began with them testing the idea out on me first such as my dad’s decision to not let me stay at friend’s houses after the eighth grade because he was afraid we would invite boys over and have sex. Or the decision I had to learn to play the piano before the drums I wanted to play, only the piano lessons never happened. Or the idea, sports are bad for growing children’s bones and I didn’t get to play softball or volleyball in school. But my siblings got to do all those things!

Finally, as I got older, my parents split up, my mom fell apart and it was left to me to clean up the mess. I watched her to make sure she ate, paid the bills, raised my two younger siblings and kept things together for several years while she reverted back to being a teenager. Out drinking and partying, dragging home strange men that I kicked out in the morning until she finally got it out of her system and decided it was time to be a mom again. In the meantime, my dad only helped out with child support and fighting with my mom. I guess at least he paid the child support. I love them both but they fought so much and always put me in the middle of it. It was a relief when they both moved on.

I’m not saying being the oldest is all bad but it does carry the heavy weight of responsibility that no other position the sibling lineup carries.  Of course, I could have been a horrible child and just walked away from it all but I wasn’t raised that way. Family always came first and taking care of the family in hard times was just something required, similar to the choices, responsibilities and requirements the heir to the throne has.

So if given the choice to choose, I would pick the role of off-the-hook sibling and leave the reins to someone else. Yes, being royalty would change some of the situations I grew up in and life would certainly be a lot more charmed with benefits but it doesn’t change that the heir also has no choice in many of the matters.

I’m no slouch but I would rather pass on the torch to someone else and let them carry the weight of the world for a while, giving me the chance to kick up my heels and enjoy life without the weight of family responsibility dragging me down.



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