Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Child I Like Best

Parents are not supposed to love one child more than another, or so I have been told. At least they shouldn’t admit to it anyway.

But I can’t help it. There’s love and then there’s love. I have five children now and I love them all. I mother them all equally. I discipline them fairly and consistently. I treat them all the same. But one of them is more endearing than the others.

In truth, I think this happens quite often in families (though most parents are smart enough to follow the “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule on this topic). Maybe for you it is your oldest, the one who has been around the longest and had that early time as the only child. Or perhaps it is your baby, who will always be your sweet baby. Maybe it is your only boy, or your only girl.

When the French say “I love you”, they say “Je t’aime” and when they say “I like you”, they say Je t’aime bien”. Their word for love is the same as their word for like, and when they emphasize love by adding the word “well” to it, it becomes like. So maybe what I really meant to say up above is that there is love and then there is like.

One of my children is very very likeable. This child has a great unintended sense of humor. This child is thoughtful and sweet. This child is bright and engaging. This child is beautiful and smells delicious. This child is very able to express love and affection. On the flip side, this child is rarely annoying, contrary, or miserable. Lacking difficult-to-deal-with characteristics goes a long way.

It doesn’t really matter if it is ok or not for me to like this child more than the others... it doesn’t matter if it makes me an imperfect mother. It is what it is.

1 comment:

Tara said...

I hear ya. I also find that I like some more than others in different seasons/stages, too. Imo, the only time this can be a problem is if you DISLIKE one more than others. Then I have to pray and ask God to help me really love this child. He does. :)

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