OK, I'm putting this down in black and white so you all can call me out on it if you ever catch me favoring one of my children (or even disfavoring one of my children) over the others as they grow up.
I try so hard to treat my children as equally as I can. There are things about each and everyone of them that I truly delight in. They all vie for a spot as my favorite so I'll humor each of them by saying things like "You, my honey brown-eyed boy, are my favorite first born son named Zach." To Lucas I'll say "You, my sweet, little blond boy, are my favorite second born son and my favorite ever Lucas." Claire gets "You, my darling daughter, are my favorite youngest child named Claire and my favorite daughter." That way each of them get to be my favorite...and they each are my favorite in their own special ways. Like I said, there are things about each of them that I delight in and they know it. I just need to make sure they always know it and I remember to always show it.
I've seen too many instances lately where favoritism is rearing it's ugly head. And I don't like it ~ not one little bit. But I'm powerless to change the circumstances for others, in the here and now ~ all I can do it try never to repeat the failings of showing favoritism.
I talked to my friend Julie, the other day and we made a pact to keep each other on the straight and narrow as we get older and our kids grow up, leave the house, get married and have kiddos of their own so none of our kids have to deal with the sadness that comes from favoring a kid, or kids, above any others. I know Julie and I will honor that pact because it's too important.
My heart hurts for those who are subjected to the degradation that comes from favoring one, or more, of your children above the others. I said above that I have found things in each and every one of my kiddos that I truly delight in but there are also things that irritate the bejeezus outta me. And when one of those things I don't like rears up, I try so hard to focus on what delights me, rather than focusing on the irritation...sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't work, well....those are the times I totally screw up in relating to my kids and those are the times my apologies are the biggest. I hope my kids remember my apologies when they grow up. I hope, too, that their hearts never have to hurt, for long at least, thinking that I favor one kid over the others.
And I wish nothing more for them, as they grow up and have kids of their own, that they can always find it in their hearts to give and receive forgiveness so favoritism never becomes an issue. I hope I learn my lesson from watching others I know who are suffering through the sadness of favoritism. And hopefully, I can pass down to my kids the ability to show their children that they are loved, warts and all, with not a favorite in sight.
Oh, for the love of my children....