Thursday, November 19, 2009

Favorite Children and A Mother's Prerogative

I must admit something. I have a favorite child. I do. Those of you who know me, are probably shaking your heads right now thinking that I am half-crazy for admitting this.(Put down the phone, Dad.) But it is true, and I do. Twenty-two and a half years ago, God began blessing me with daughter, after daughter, after daughter, with yet another daughter! And no, to answer your question, we were not trying for a boy, we are not Catholic or Mormon, and we do know what causes that. Once we had our oldest Angel Daughter, I dreamed of having another one so that she would have a sister. After Angel Daughter Number Two was born and I became pregnant yet again, I figured I was on a roll so why stop now. And by the time Angel Daughter Number Three bounced happily into this world and we were blessed with our one and only surprise baby, AD4, I truly wanted another little girl. I decided that at that point, I would not even have known what to do with a boy! So, with four Angel Daughters, it is hard not to have a favorite.

But herein lies the truth. At any given moment, and it can change as frequently as the hormones do in our mostly girly family, my favorite child changes. Another Mother once told me that her Mother once told her that the favorite child is the one who needs you the most at that time. Interesting perspective, but somewhat different from mine. For me, it is the one who breezes through the door to ask me if it is okay to wear a certain shirt for a job interview. It is the one who calls me to excitedly describe her day. It is the one who hugs me so hard that it ends up taking my breath away. It is the one who makes me laugh so hard that I do lose my breath. It is the one who walks into my room eating an after-school snack looking like a little forest pixie. Ask me which one is my favorite, and I just might tell you. Ask me again in ten minutes and I can guarantee that the answer will change. That is a Mother's prerogative.
I took these pictures of Angel Daughter Number Three a couple of weeks ago. We were browsing around the little shops in Laguna Beach, when I had a "favorite child" moment. At seventeen years old, AD3 is going through some changes that all adolescent girls go through at one time or another. She can be very tentative, private and quiet. It is a stage in a Mother's life which is sometimes difficult to navigate. I am watching my adorable little girl transform into a woman, right before my eyes.
But then there are moments like this. Moments in which the silly little girl melds with the blossoming young woman and my heart is overtaken with awe.
Moments when I can still see who she once was, while reveling in who she is now. Moments when I can enjoy all of the parts of the same. The very same.

I don't think that I have introduced you to Jacob yet. Jacob is Angel Daughter Three's boyfriend. He is studying to be a Firefighter while working hard and attending college. I like that AD3 can be more of who she is when she is with Jacob. I like that he is not afraid to be goofy! I like it when my girls are content.

As my family moves forward into yet another uncharted phase of life, I must admit that I will always have a favorite. Each one of my Angel Daughters is my favorite child at one moment or another. I am sure that each one of them has a favorite parent or sister from moment to moment, as well. But the truth, my truth, is that it takes four parts to make a whole. And for me, it takes four daughters to make a favorite.


Irene Latham said...

Dear Deb - love this post! I've always told my boys, "you're my favorite ten year old" or whatever age they are at the time. That way it isn't a competition between them and their brothers. :) And then there's always the argument that each one is a favorite in different ways.... xxoo

Blue said...

i've always had it easy with one of each. and they are my very favorite smallish people. just enough of their dad in them to keep them balanced and serve as an ever-present reminder of him when we're apart. AD3 is adorable! ♥

Maria-Thérèse said...

They look so sweet together!!! Aaah. I want her hat! :D

miruspeg said...

Deb I sure you were smiling as you wrote this post.....because I was as I was reading it!
The moments which take our breath away are certainly wonderful moments to be sure.

I have known Joseph (3) and his brother Charlie (5) all their lives and sometimes I feel guilty because I "think" I love one child more than the other.
Fortunately the other day I realised, like you wrote in this post, it is all about the moments.
The realisation was quite a weight off my shoulders and has allowed me to fully love each child unconditionally and guilt free.

You are such a loving, gentle, wise soul and a wonderful friend Deb, who has much to share and teach. I can't express how much I love my blog friends. And you dear Debbie fill my soul right to the brim with joy.

Bless you, bless your angel daughters! :) :) :) :) :)
Peggy xxxooo

Timothy said...

I love this post! What a great perspective. I only have one so far, so it's easy to have a favorite.

Meili Bell (on her man's account)

Mickey (Michel) Johnson said...

...aaahhh...the moments of favoritism...they are great aren't they? i love it when i have one of those special times of connection with my boys...a moment where it only seems like us two and i can see so much more in them than what is simply set before me. the smile of contentment comes with the peaceful thought that life with this sweet one is indeed good. much love, mickey

Kathleen Botsford said...

OMG. You hit this right on the head! I know exactly what you mean! I am thankful for your brilliant articulation of a very 'touchy' subject. Love it!

Anonymous said...

Well said, you might be surprised but even I have a favorite daughter.


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Laura Hegfield said...

I completely understand this! For me with only two daughters, they are both my favorite and least favorite, depending on who is torturing me more at the moment! (lol)....also with my nieces and nephews and students...they all have that ability to shift from favorite to most complicated and challenging in a blink of the eye. I feel so blessed to have so many wonderful young people in my life because I have my 2 girls, 5 nieces, 2 nephews, then my cousins 4 wee ones, and then teen/now 20 somethings students from 7 years of teaching art and yoga at hour Hebrew High...and still I am in close contact with several of those amazing kids...I feel like they are all my sons and daughters at different times, depending on who needed me the most in a particular moment. Maybe I'm a bit like the old woman who lived in a shoe...but I fed everyone with lots of love and encouragement and never spanked or sent anyone to bed hungry!


Anonymous said...

What a sincere and touching post. I hope that you and your family have a very happy Thanksgiving.

Splendid Little Stars said...

sweet! I have heard that, too, that the favorite is the one that needs you most. makes sense...

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