Monday, January 14, 2013

My Favorite Child

Growing up (and heck, even when we were grown) we always used to ask our mom and dad who their favorite child was.  My sister and I never believed them when they said they couldn't pick a favorite.  After all, wasn't I the best singer?  Wasn't she the smartest?  Surely one of those factors had to mean the most to them!

But now that I have four of my own, I'm really beginning to understand.  I can't possibly have a favorite child - they're all my favorite (but they're all my least favorite, too...)! 

Sure, John Paul might drive me nuts when he screeches uncontrollably because I won't let him watch tv all day long.

But then he'll so tenderly hug his sisters, or come snuggle with me while reading a book to himself, or run in circles around the room while singing the books of the Bible and I remember why he is my favorite, my first, my only boy.



And Cecilia...  Her complete lack of remorse when she does something like intentionally kick a baby (gently) in the head, going so far as to laugh when the baby starts crying.  It drives me crazy!

But when she tearfully comes downstairs from her nap telling me, "I need to snuggle Mom?"  And her infectious giggle when she takes off her boot on her car seat singing, "I have a foot!" And her twirling and dancing and hopping around the living room while singing "Immaculate Mary."  Then I know that she is absolutely my favorite, my wonderful girl, my sparkly princess.



Then Elizabeth wakes up 3 minutes after I just put her down, demanding to nurse for yet another hour.  Or spits up what must be EVERYTHING she just ate all down the front of my shirt.  Or Mary Claire poops all over the floor during a diaper change, or spends half an hour latching and unlatching, freaking out because she is so-tired-and-so-hungry-but-never-wants-to-sleep-or-eat.  Not my favorite.

But one enchanting, dimpled smile and I can't imagine life without Elizabeth.  Or Mary Claire snuggles into me like a tiny, sleepy bear cub breathing her sweet milk breath into my face and making wonderful baby noises.  And how could they not be my favorites, my surprise twins, my tiny babies?




And so I understand.  "You're ALL my favorite" isn't the cop-out answer I always thought it was.  It's the absolute truth, as much as can be expressed in words.  How can I possibly explain the joy these children all bring me, each in a completely different way? 

11 comments :

  1. Replies
    1. Also, I didn't think I was the smartest. I knew that would depend on how intelligence was gauged. I just thought I was the all-around best. See how humble I was?

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  2. LOL... I tell each of my children individually that they are my favorite and they believe it. But when they are together I tell them that the dog is my favourite... I say, "Come" and he comes, "sit" and he sits. What's not to love?
    I wonder what they will tell their kids about it when they have their own.

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    1. That's the best reason to have a dog I've ever heard :P

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  3. I know it was frustrating for you kids to be told that we had four favorites (and four children), but how else could we explain it? I'm glad you get it now!

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  4. There is a great book called "I Love You The Purplest" that goes along with this idea. http://www.amazon.com/Love-You-Purplest-Barbara-Joosse/dp/0811807185
    My aunt is the only girl in her family and she has three brothers. She always used to tell them that her favorite brother was the one who was farthest away. :)
    PS I go to church with your lovely mother and read you sister's blog as well. Congratulations on a beautiful family!!

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    1. Thank you! My mom is always happy to show off her grandkids :)

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  5. This is so beautiful!!! And so true. Each love is unique and so special!!

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  6. I agree. All my children are simultaneously my favourite and least favourite all the time. I must admit I slightly favour the twin girls because my boys (5 and almost three) can walk and talk and are, shall we say, high energy. We have at least a few more weeks' grace before the girls start walking.

    It's nice to virtually meet another twins mom. :)

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  7. I love this post! It's beautiful and funny at the same time.

    My boys are now 29, 28, 26, 25 and 20, and they still sign cards "Your favorite son"! That's been a joke around our house forever--the whole "Who's Mom's favorite?" thing. And when one of them does something extra sweet, I'll tell him that right that minute he's my favorite.

    But it's true--your kids are ALL your favorites. They are so uniquely special.

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