Tell each child why they are their favorite.
It all started over lunch. I asked my adult daughter, “Out of the three of you children, who do you think had it the easiest?” She answered, then we decided to call the other two and ask their opinions. The first question led to the second, “Who do you think is Mom’s and Dad’s favorite?” Naturally, each had his or her own choices and reasons for those choices. After hearing their reasoning, I realized I should have chosen my own favorites.
I should have done it every day, every moment I was with them. I should have let them know it, out loud and on paper. I should have verified their position as favorite so there would be no later discussion. I should have told them exactly who was my favorite, and why.
It really was quite simple, because my favorite changed constantly, as did the reason. I knew which was my favorite, but I could have let them in on the secret.
When shopping with my youngest, I could have told her that she was my favorite because she helped me decide what to buy that day. A month earlier, I could have told my middle child she was my favorite because she dragged me out shopping that day. I would have told my oldest he was my favorite because he never took me shopping.
I would have my youngest she was my favorite because she cooked from scratch, and then took it out of my hand when I was eating too much. I could have told my middle child she was my favorite because she kept going and was not afraid when she split open her chin. I should have told my oldest he was my favorite because he thought it was an adventure when we were travelling and stopped with only $2.19 for lunch.
I could have told my youngest she was my favorite because she stood her ground through tears and determination. I should have told my middle child she was my favorite because she took care of her grandfather when I couldn’t be there. I should have told my oldest he was my favorite because he was there for the firsts – my first child, my first published Letter to the Editor, my first marathon.
They are all my favorites, and I think they know it. Each is my favorite because of the very essence of who they are, and what they mean to my life. I should have told them so they would have ammunition for the next time the question is asked. Now that would be a fun discussion to hear: “I’m Mom’s favorite because she told me…” As a child, it’s a great feeling to know you’re the favorite. As a mom, it’s great feeling to know all your children are your favorites and why.
About the Author:
Luanne Davidson is the proud mother of three adult children and wonders what might have been if she had done a thing or two differently. She writes her “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda” column each Thursday.