Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Favorite Child

I am from a very large, very close family. I'm one of seven kids. And all our lives we've argued over which one of us is "The Favorite", though deep down inside, I know that all of my siblings know I am the favorite! Well to prove it, on Thanksgiving as we were leaving, my mom called me aside and handed me a gift bag. She said "now don't tell your brothers I gave you this" I opened it and inside was a Christmas Ornament. It said Mom's Favorite, and then had the name of one of my brothers on it! I said, this says Danny! She says oh no, I gave you the wrong one. She took it back and handed me another bag where the ornament inside had my name on it. She said I didn't want anyone to know I gave one to everybody. (She still thinks I am the only one who knows everyone of us got one! So if any of my brothers are reading this DON'T TELL MOM!)

Now, in our family, we may all Love ourselves a little too much, and be conceded at times (not to mention Humble) but I don't think there's a single one of us who would truly think my mom would actually tell us we had always been her favorite. We are a bunch of clowns and when we are together we laugh a lot. And my poor mom really wants to be funny, and she tries to be. But when she's not "trying" to be funny she'll say or do something that just cracks us all up and then when we laugh, she'll say What?! We all go to each others houses, so you would think she would realize we might see the ornament hanging on our siblings tree. But she really believes she has pulled one over on us all. (Well, not me, because she knows I know, since she gave me the wrong ornament, but she didn't want me to.)

And as I was thinking about how funny all of this is, I remembered an acquaintance of mine, way back before I even had any kids, this person did, and we were talking about her kids. And in the conversation of her telling me about her kids, she matter of factly told me which of her kids was her favorite. I'm sure my mouth flew open wide. My heart immediately broke for her other children. If she said this to me, I'm sure she said it to others as well, and we all know how perceptive children are. How terrible to live with the knowledge of never being able to measure up. Or the guilt you would feel knowing you were favored above your brothers & sisters. Either way it's a raw deal!

I guess my point in all this is it's our responsibility as parents to make all of our kids feel special. Like they are the only one like them in the whole world. (Yes, even with Twins! And that's a real challenge.) And no one else could take their place. And unless you have an only child, please never say you have a favorite child! I told my mom she has seven kids, she can have a favorite one for each day of the week. (except we all know it's really me that's her favorite everyday!) ;)

I guess we know we're doing a good job parenting, if like my mom, ALL our kids believe they are the favorite!

What do you do to make your kids feel special?


br8eyes said...

Thank you to Stefanie for having you on her blog roll.

I grew up knowing that my brother was my mother's favorite child (there was only us two). Not so much by words but more by actions. I held resentment toward my mother and brother for so many years because of it. I must admit though, that I am a strong woman today partly because of it and I did learn what type of parenting skills I did NOT want to use.

I have three children, 16, 6 and 4 - all boys. My 6 year old is high functioning autistic, my 4 year old has medical issues and my teen is, well, a teen. In raising my wonderful boys, I tell them that they are each different and I love them in different ways, but all the same amount. I also tell them frequently that I am thankful God has allowed me to borrow them, as well as thank the children for picking me to be their mother. I am grateful for every day with my children, good, bad, beautiful and the ugly.

stefanie said...

Star, I adore your mom. That is so sweet.

As I was reading this I was thinking about how God treats us all as his favorites. I guess I've tried to do those things that are humanly possible.

Be available. Love unconditionally. Speak respectfully. Love unconditionally.Discipline according to the circumstance. Love unconditionally. Forgive.

Oh, and since I am SO human...

Apologize. Ask forgiveness. Forgive. Try again.

I'm sure I left some things out...

Star Forbis said...

Any friend (or Reader) of Stefanie's is a friend of mine! ;)I'm grateful you found me.

And Thank you so much for sharing your story. I'm greatly humbled, and in awe at God, that he could take my stupid since of humor, writing a little story I think is funny, and actually use it to touch someone's life. And teach us all, who are just trying to parent the best way we know how, a lesson. And all of us, especially me, fall short sometimes and hopefully we sometimes hit the mark too.

Michelle said...

That's a really funny story about your mom!

It's hard to make sure every kid is "favored" the same, and sometimes it can still look like one is being favored over the other, even when you aren't trying. I know this from my childhood... we'll just leave it at that. :)

Nichole said...

Your mom sounds very cute! Sounds like it's a lot of fun to be a part of your family :o)

Thanks for visiting my blog today and for leaving me a comment while there!

Star Forbis said...

Both of my teenage boys asked me at different times when they saw the title of my post if it was about them. :)

Charity Childs-Gevero said...

Oh dear...I don't think I'm going to have any more children, for that matter! One is totally enough! LOL!

Thank you for sharing with me the story behind your son was born on the day after that means 2 days in a row of presents and parties and yummy I must admit, it can get totally stressful!

Hippie parents...hmmm...that's tossed a great idea into my head...I think my parents are hippie parents...LOL

kittens n kisses,