I have four children. They are as different as night and day. Some are shy and some are loud. There are the ones who like to watch TV and those who would rather read. I have athletes and those who couldn’t care less. And among those four different personalities, I have a favorite child. One who stands alone and shines above the rest.
How can I say that? How can a mother single out a child and make them feel that they are better and more loved than their siblings? Honestly, it is quite simple. You see, I tell each of my children that they are my favorite child. I do this in private and I tell them not to tell the others because it will hurt their feelings. As they got a little older and started to think that I was giving everyone the same spiel, I added, “But when I tell you, I mean it.” And you know what? I do mean it. I mean it every time that I say it.
When I was a kid my mom always said that she had not one, but four favorite children. There was her favorite daughter, her favorite left-handed son, her favorite brown-eyed boy, and her favorite baby boy. I thought that this was silly. She had to have a real favorite, right? I mean, who can honestly love four people positively equally? Well when I finally had children myself, I understood.
I have also four favorite children. They each have qualities that shine bright that makes them beautifully unique. It’s funny; my kids are the same as we were growing up, three boys and one girl. I even have a lefty and a brown-eyed baby to throw in the mix. But my reasons for having favorites are a bit different than my moms.
First, I will say that my daughter is my favorite girl. Obviously, she is the only girl and has no competition, but it goes beyond that. She is my favorite because of her imagination and her nurturing spirit. My girl has carried a baby doll with her since her first birthday and takes care of and loves Francine as if she were a real child. She changes her diaper, feeds her, and puts her in pajamas to sleep. Francine is her real-life baby sister and I will never let anything happen to her. That is her beloved baby, her best friend. It warms my heart to see her love so deeply.
None of my sons have that same sense of play that my daughter has. They have never taken a single toy and made an entire day of play from it. She is my favorite child because she wants to be little. She isn’t in a rush to grow up or grow out of her imagination. I look at her and know that she will be a great mom someday. That makes me proud of her and it makes me love her more than anything. I feel so blessed to have her.
Next, I have a favorite scholar. My oldest son is brilliant and I could listen to him talk for hours on just about any subject you can throw out. He is a voracious reader and a lover of facts. His little mind is filled with so much information; he can hardly get it out fast enough and you often have to tell him to slow down so that your ears can catch up. It is fascinating to watch such an incredible mind work.
He is unlike my other children in that he gets bored with regular things. He always wants to be learning or building with his hands. LEGO is his jam and he will sit for hours on end working on sets with his dad. I think he will grow up to be just like him. I never want him to lose his passion for learning and doing. Did I mention he is my lefty? Watching that little hand work always amazes me. Anytime I see someone write with their left hand it makes me smile thinking of my special boy. He is my favorite child because he uses his brain and is the consummate problem solver.
I also have a favorite child that wears glasses. I swear to God, I catch those rims out of the corner of my eye and it is an instant smile. He is fashionable and unique. He takes pride in picking out the perfect specs. They have been orange, red, teal and white. He stands out from the crowd and I am always proud to see his bold choices. My buddy doesn’t care what other people think of him. He is an individual from tip to toe.
I know that as he gets older, his personal flare will benefit him. There are no problems with self-confidence and consistently puts his all into every task that he tackles. He is also loving and endearing. His baby sister is his buddy. He is kind and patient with her as she learns to play games like Minecraft. He doesn’t get angry or frustrated, he remains calm and loving. It is hard not to adore someone like that. One day, he will make a terrific husband and father. He is a lesson in self worth and I hope he never loses his sense of style. He is my favorite child because he is one in a million.
Finally, there is my Freckles. Where do I even begin with this guy? He is my third boy and the most loving child that you will ever meet. I cannot tell you how many times a day that child stops to tell me that he loves me. He will call out, ‘I love you,’ followed by the name of any member of our family without a second thought. There is no shyness when it comes to his affection; he gives hugs and kisses to everyone that he sees. At eight years old, I think that it pretty rare. He is in the age where things start to change and families can begin to become embarrassing. I don’t see that in his future at all right now.
He is my favorite because he is unafraid to show his emotions. He will laugh and he will smile and he will cry without fear of shame or embarrassment. His love for his family means more to him that any ribbing that he may receive from his friends. As a father, he will be the kind of man who encourages his children and will be in the front row at the school play. You will never second-guess his love for you, that is a fact. Who wouldn’t want a child like that? He is my favorite child because he has a tender heart.
My children know that they are special and that they are loved, because I tell them all the time. They need to hear it and they need to feel that love. Because I tell each of them that they are my favorite, and whether they believe that or not doesn’t really matter, they feel special. My kids understand that they have unique qualities that make them stand out from the crowd. That is so important. As they grow and mature, I want them to continue to be themselves and to understand that they are perfect just the way that they are.
Sure, there are days when one is the favorite of the day. Each of them has their own knack for shining just a bit brighter than their siblings from time to time. And that is OK. There is nothing wrong with being the front-runner every now and then. Deep down they know that they are all equal in my heart. My love for them will never fade, and I hope that they will always believe that. They are four completely different people, who will make their own mark on the world.
In their hearts, they know who my real favorite is. I just hope that they keep it a secret.