Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My Favorite Child

Just a moment ago, one of my sons phoned, but I did not know whether it was Gavin or Grant. Their voices sound the same when they greet me, and when I ask which son is calling, each son inevitably replies, "Your favorite son." Well, they are both my favorite son, so what do I say? I try to figure out which son is most likely calling at that moment and then say his name. Just as inevitably, I hear laughter, their laughs are quite distinct from one another, and then I know I guessed incorrectly. There follows a teasing, "I knew it," followed by another laugh. I immediately feel horrible, fearing that one son will think I favor the other or vice versa, when in reality, I love them both with all my heart, and you can't love anyone more than that.

Ever since Gavin joined his sister Amy, and then later Hugh came along and finally Grant arrived to complete our family, my children have tried to find out who is my favorite child. The better question would be if I have a favorite child, but, no, they assume I must. Why is that, I wonder? They guess one or another, and they are always wrong because I do not have a favorite child, or, more accurately, each one is my favorite child at the same time. Each child is part of my heart. My heart has four chambers, and I have four children. I tell my children that I have a four part heart,  and each child is a chamber of my heart. I cannot pick an auricle over a ventricle; my heart needs all four chambers, or I would die. In the same way, I cannot pick one child over another because I need each one to make me whole and complete.

Before I had my children, I liked to think that I was a puzzle with missing pieces, though I wasn't sure what was missing. When each child was born, another piece of the puzzle that is me was filled in. Once all four were born, the puzzle that was me was complete. Each child fits in my life and heart in his or her own special way. Their essences are unique, and neither can take the place of the other. That is why I love it best when we are all together because then life seems whole and complete--everything fits, at least for me.

For my children, however, I am just a portion of their individual puzzles, probably part of the border.  My children are in the process of filling in their life puzzles, finding what makes them complete, and it is thrilling to sometimes be another puzzle piece in their life puzzle and sometimes an observer from my border spot. Sometimes, too, it is sad when I realize that my portion of their puzzles is getting smaller, though I know that is the way it is supposed to be.

My four children, however, are the pieces of my puzzle that make me whole, so I hope they always know that each one is my favorite child every minute of every day.

Take care,


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