When I was growing up, my dad would routinely, and very quietly, tell me I was his favorite kid, or that he loved me more than my sister. Now, I was old enough to understand the joking way he said this, and I knew he said the exact same thing to my older sister. It’s still a running joke today–any time he helps me out with something, or does something for me, he’ll lean over and say, “Don’t tell your sister, but you’re our favorite.”
Since becoming a mom to two kids, I’ve often thought about whether parents really do love their kids equally or if deep down they do, indeed, have a favorite.
My kids are very different from each other.
My six-year-old daughter is very strong-willed, stubborn, and a born leader. She wants to be in charge and in control of EVERYTHING. She’s very serious and not quick to laugh. She thinks she can do anything, and do it perfectly, and has very little patience when she realizes she might actually have to practice or try several times before being able to do some things. She has never been a snuggler and has always hated having her “owies” kissed. But, she loves being able to help people with things and is very creative.
My two-year-old son is basically the opposite. He’s fairly easygoing, laughs and giggles a lot and easily, and won’t think twice before climbing up on my lap to snuggle. He’s much more physical and rowdy when playing, but always stops what he’s doing to have his “owies” kissed before continuing on.
One night as I was lying in bed, after a day where my daughter had given me a run for my money (again), and my son had just wanted to give me high fives and knuckles, I found myself wondering if I loved him more than I loved her. I immediately dismissed the idea, because I know deep down I do love them both equally, but…there was something about the love for each of them that was just…different.
Not more. Not less. Just different.
I don’t know if it’s because I show my love differently with each of them, or if it’s because one is older than the other, or what? But I do know there is something DIFFERENT about it. And I’m okay with that–they themselves are so incredibly different, and the way they need to be loved is also different.
So, as they grow up, I’ll hopefully get a better grasp on how exactly it is that I love them differently. And when they are old enough to understand the joke, I’ll tell them each individually that they are my favorite.