Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Not Playing "the favorite child" game


This is my very favorite picture (to date) of my family. I heart them!
People say to me quite a bit, "You know you have a favorite child. Every parent does. I don't care what they say." I do have four children but I honestly can tell you that I don't feel that I favor one over the others. They may tell you differently, and if that's the case, I need to talk to them. I have always tried to see them all as individuals. None of them are the same at all. I don't even see them looking alike or favoring their dad or myself. I literally look at them and see individual people. I always have. The boys looked a lot alike as babies so thankfully they weren't all babies at the same time. I do have a hard time with the baby pictures, I admit that much.

Yesterday, as I'm sitting on the couch reiterating to my youngest why it's important to try your best in ALL subjects, not just the ones you like, he says something about his brother being a "prodigy". Yes, this is my youngest child, almost 14, who has always had a large vocabulary. I immediately went into defense mode because I never want any of them to feel like they have to "live up to" a sibling. I explained to him that they each have a special gift. The example I gave was "Ben couldn't draw a stick figure to save his life (he probably could but I was making a point) but he can play the trombone like no ones business. Alyssa can draw the most incredible things by hand, but couldn't begin play an instrument the way Ben does." Then I said how talented Michael is both in music AND art, which then led to the question, "what is my talent?"

This child I'm conversing with is one of those kids that you have a hard time pin pointing one specific talent. He has the most amazing personality and social skills, much better than my other kids. Is that a talent or a gift or what? I don't like labels so much but he seemed to need me to put a label on him. That's his label. He is so smart in the area of science and his personality is out of this world. I mean, I have gotten two phone calls from two different teachers this school year about what a great kid Jonathan is and how much they enjoy having him in their class. These are the two classes he is doing the best in, but still. Oh, and he has a 94 in Science for the first 6 weeks - just sayin.

That's not to say my other kids aren't smart or funny. They all are in their own way. (I feel like I'm digging a hole here....) My point is, not making your kids feel like you like one of them over the others is really difficult. Only have one kid so you don't have to worry about this!!

Not really. I love the fact that I had four kids. They have all been, and continue to be, such amazing human beings. My greatest pleasure has been to watch them grow up into adults, making their way through life, figuring out all the stuff we've all had to figure out along the way. I've had challenges with each one of them, but nothing they have done or could do would make me love them any less. If I thought you were interested, I would list out everything each of them has done that's incredible but I don't have the time or space here so I won't. I just wanted to say on this public forum, how incredibly proud I am of my kids. I don't have a favorite, really. I have a special, unique and different relationship with each of them - individually.

(I guess when I am old and dying I might have a favorite, depending on which on steps up to the plate to take care of Mommy Dearest!)
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