Monday, February 23, 2015

My Favorite Child is...


I suspect my children will descend upon me after reading this and smirk about how "Mom can turn anything into a blog post."

 
I wish they would see how little I have blogged lately because I'm too busy trying to prove to them individually that they are each my favorite. ;-)
 
And that's a paradoxical statement all it's own.

 
 

My oldest child (and perhaps it's the ritual of the oldest child to do so) is quick to boast that he is the favorite.  

 
"I'm the favorite, right, Mom?" is said more as a statement than a question.
 
And a part of me feels that the younger siblings feel that he is because they've heard him say it all his life and I honestly don't know how to remedy this. Chances are they ignore his oldest child self-assurance.
 

 So I'm going to go public here and officially reveal which of my children is my favorite. ;-)
 
* * * * *

My Favorite Child – by Erma Bombeck

Every mother has a favorite child.  She cannot help it.  She is only human.  I have mine – the child for whom I feel a special closeness, with whom I share a love that no one else could possibly understand.  My favorite child is the one who was too sick to eat ice cream at his birthday party – who had measles at Christmas – who wore leg braces to bed because he toed in – who had a fever in the middle of the night, the asthma attack, the child in my arms at the emergency ward.

My favorite child spent Christmas alone away from the family, was stranded after the game with a gas tank on E, lost the money for his class ring. 

My favorite child is the one who messed up at the piano recital, misspelled committee in a spelling bee, ran the wrong way with the football, and had his bike stolen because he was careless. 

My favorite child is the one I punished for lying, grounded for insensitivity to other people’s feelings, and informed he was a royal pain to the entire family. 

My favorite child slammed the doors in frustration, cried when she didn’t think I saw her, withdrew and said she could not talk to me. 

My favorite child always needed a haircut, had hair that wouldn’t curl, had no date for Saturday night, and a car that cost $600 to fix.  My favorite child was selfish, immature, bad-tempered, and self-centered.  He was vulnerable, lonely, unsure of what he was doing in the world, and quite wonderful.

All mothers have their favorite child.  It is always the same one: the one who needs you at the moment.  Who needs you for whatever reason – to cling to, to shout at, to hurt, to hug, to flatter, to reverse charges to, to unload on – but mostly just to be there.

* * * * *
 
 This poem, until my older children reached their 20's, always rang truth to me. Now I see that there is a risk of at least one child who doesn't need us as much. A BIG part of me feels badly for the child who seems to have done everything right or who, at least, seems to have been born under a lucky star and everything comes easily to them.
 
Because they demand less of my time and energy and money, do they feel like the least favorite?
 
Yes, they probably do?
 
In fact, I know they do.
 
Yet, in talking to them, their maturity and wisdom at this knowledge, and the fact that they are the first to alleviate my fears, amps my own appreciation of them.  They are far wiser than I ever was at their age. Perhaps that comes with growing up with several siblings and knowing that life is not always fair.

In fact, most of the time, it isn't fair at all.
 
Favoritism is a false prophet.
  
Of course, Scripture thought of everything and has a complex tale of two sons which shows us how a parent acts when these things happen and how these things are handled in a kingdom apart from ourselves and, until we are part of that understanding, we alone keep ourselves out of that kingdom.

1 comment:

  1. I tell my kids that my favorite child is the one that loves me the most. Then they drop the the subject.

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