Thursday, February 2, 2012

.....three favorites.....


.....I love all three of my children equally, although I love each of them for different reasons......I do not believe in favorites, although every time I say that out loud; other parents tell me I am not being honest because every parent of multiple children has a favorite and just doesn't want to admit it.....this bothers me.....

.....From my perspective, honesty is admitting that there are phases when I feel like it is easier to connect with one child over another.....there may be times I have to work harder to make a connection or have a conversation that is meaningful.....there may be a phase where one of my children has an annoying habit that grates my nerves more frequently; say like licking anything and everything (including me), constantly interrupting anytime I try to speak with someone my own age or shrieking with a high pitched scream that breaks glass just because it gets a reaction....these moments of time have happened and will certainly continue to occur which can pose a road block in trying to bond or feel close to any one of my children......



....but the thing that grates me about the favorite theory is that it's a scape goat....the path of least resistance is to spend more time with the easier child because it's just that.....easier.....maybe there is one child that is more similar to you and so bonding with that child happens effortlessly because you see a reflection of yourself in that child.....maybe one of your children arrived at a time when you needed that child and there is a bond due to the circumstance at birth......regardless, there is usually a reason a parent who openly acknowledges favorites has selected one child that falls into this category, but here's the thing.....it's our job as parents to bring out the best in each of our children......it's up to us to yield the extra effort when we acknowledge a void.....it's when we uncover their layers and find how complex and interesting our children are when the relationship with them flourishes.....and it takes energy and effort.....




.....I think it's also honest to say that every time I have one on one time with any of my children, I make them feel like they are my favorite.....Brody probably isn't grasping this concept quite yet, but the girls certainly can....I celebrate the one on one time because it doesn't happen as much as I would like it to, so we go all out when the moments arrive and I look at them direct in the eyes and tell them how happy I am that it's just us right now......


...Elsie has been blue since Daddy has been traveling so much....she has really been sad and we have had a tough week with things that are usually easy for her.....so we escaped across the street this afternoon and I introduced her to my new obsession.....my cup of green.....spinach, kale, cucumbers, celery, and apples.....I can't get enough of this new afternoon pick me up....so we watched my drink being made, naming all the ingredients and she tried my green concoction and politely told me she didn't care for it.....so she opted for her banana and then we just talked.....I listened, she did the talking and then I told her there was no one else in the world that I would rather be with at that moment.....I told her that she was my favorite part of the day because today at 2:25pm, she was my favorite part of the day.....and we held hands and hugged and eskimo kissed and she cried when I left to pick Callie up from school, but I know that she felt special.....

....and as luck and coincidence would have it, I picked Callie up from school and Elsie had been invited to play soccer with friends at a nearby church.....so I got Callie settled at home and since Brody is sick his naps have been all over the place and he happened to be sleeping at 4pm....I quickly realized I had another opportunity like I did with Elsie earlier that day.....

......and so we read......


.....and then we talked.....

.....and then we read the same book again.....three times.....


....and a lot of the conversation was about why Mrs. McGregor made rabbit pie out of Peter Rabbit's Daddy (commentary on that disturbing part for another day, but that can be very traumatizing for an almost 3 year old....just sayin')......and like her big sister, I told Callie that I was so excited it was just the two of us and that it was fun we had the entire couch to ourselves.....I told her that she could sit on my lap all night long because I love to hold her and squeeze her.....I told her how smart she is and that she may also be the funniest person I know.....I told her that my favorite part of this morning was watching her dance at ballet and that she could show me any of her new ballet moves while she had my full, undivided attention....and so she did.....

....but here are her moves from her first class earlier this morning.....






.....and she also felt special.....

.....however, I don't relay these examples for a pat on the back that I am doing a stellar job at parenting.....quite the contrary, as there are days I know I fail miserably.....times I miss opportunities like the ones I had today because I am tired and need to unload the dishwasher and wash the veggies for dinnertime, all while bouncing a teething baby on my hip......

....but every child is extraordinary and needs to be made special.....




....and that is why parenting is hard because it's our job to make them feel that way.....
....on top of the other difficulties of balancing it all; teaching, coaching, mentoring, cleaning, driving, planning, organizing, scheduling.....the list goes on.....but it's still our job to connect with our children, not their job to connect with us....

.....and so my three loves of my lives, each of you are my favorite.....for different reasons, for different things you say and do and for the special bond I have with each of you that is so unique and true to only you.....I think each of you are remarkable and know that there will be great times ahead for us and others that may be tough or sad or even tragic.....but through it all I will come to the same conclusion......

.....Elsie, you are my favorite.....


.....Callie, you are my favorite......


.....and Brody, you are my favorite.....


.....and you each will be the best part of my day at some point everyday.....

....Love, Momma.....

5 comments :

Becky Jane said...

You are such a wise Mommy! When we would go visit my mother-in-law, whom I love dearly, she would always talk about how wonderful my kids cousins were. They were the smartest, most talented of all her grandchildren...it made me sad that she couldn't just focus on my kids for the short time we were there. Playing favorites just makes me mad!!!

Rosann said...

Love this. How beautiful and special and so so true. My girls each light up my life at different times each day and in different ways, but they are both my favorites. And love those special one on one moments where we get to bond.

Blessings,
~Rosann

Amy said...

Well said. I have three favorites in my house too!

Nikki said...

Thanks for the pep talk. With all the responsibility of parenthood it's sometimes hard to remember the most important responsibility of all - making sure your kids feel loved.

Alysia said...

I couldn't agree more. I have four favorites, for different reasons. I cherish each of them. It's true that certain kids may be easier to get along with at times, but that is irrelevant!