Friday, October 8, 2010

Favorites

Ask any parent if they have a favorite child and they will either gasp or laugh it off and say, "Of course not! I love them all the same!" I call them liars. You can't really go around saying you have a favorite but is that honest? I think not, its just not PC to say so.

I have favorites. I do not love them all the same.

::crickets::

Now, let me explain. It is impossible to love all your children the same. They are not the same so how could your love for them be the same? Hmmm??? I suppose if you had little clones then maybe this would be true but my children are all wildly different. As for favorites, I have favorites. I admit that. And it changes frequently. Sometimes over the course of the day someone goes from first to last. Last night as I was putting Heidi to bed I thought, "She's my favorite." After all she's been calling me "Mama" for months now. The boys didn't call me by name until they were 19-20 mo old. A little verbal recognition goes a long way with me.

I'm not malicious and I don't banish children to the basement and I certainly love all of them fiercely. To say its all equal and samey-same..that's implausible. You cannot physically love a 1 year old the in the same way you love a 6 year old. At different ages children need different levels of attention and different levels of stimulation and different levels of Mommy smooches. They require different levels of work on my part. Its just different. It will always be different. That doesn't mean its bad. I would hate to pigeon hole my kids and have them all be the same. How stifling would that be?

So when Colin is overtired and throwing fit after epic fit...yeah he's not so much my favorite. But when he's acting out crazy plays for me, giving nose kisses and being sweet to his baby sister it melts me. When Raph is demanding and talks in exasperated tones like a 13 year old, not my favorite. When he snuggles up with me and says, "I love you Mommy." and talks to me in detail and with great emotion that is so unexpected for someone so young, I swoon. When Heidi repeatedly slaps me in the face or sticks her fingers up my nose while nursing and tears up my bathroom once again (If you ever come over and find a tampon in the couch or contact solution in kitchen don't judge. Heidi did it.) I groan and carry on. When she is silly and plays with me and shows her budding sense of humor and calls me "Maahhhhh-MAH!" I get a little twinkley feeling in my belly.
Love knows no boundaries. I love my children more than I ever thought was possible. However, the momentous task of parenting comes with many peaks and valleys. It is rewarding and at times full of wasted efforts. Appreciated and taken for granted. Joyous and angering. Sweet and terrifying. I will always be there for my children, love them and nurture them but I don't always have to LIKE what they do. They do not always like me and what I have to say either. That's fine. Its ok for them to not like me at times but some day I hope that they understand all those moments they hated so much. I can look back and laugh at the bad moments now that they are gone and get that warm sense of pride for all the really great moments. I can think about those easy times and sigh...think of those really hard times and sigh but in a different way. Such is life with kids. I have my favorite moments (and children), as does any other parent in the world, whether or not they choose to admit it is up to them.