Sunday, February 28, 2010

My Favorite Child

This morning, in a random conversation with Luke, I found myself telling him my reaction to finding out he was a boy, when I had an ultrasound with him.

Later, in a spontaneous conversation with a friend, I relayed my experience with choosing/knowing there were more kids to come to our family after the first three. And though, this certainly isn't the forum to repeat the spiritual experience, both of these conversations have been on my mind for most of the day.

Any good parent knows that though we may not have 'a' favorite, we love/like our children for different reasons. And really, when you add up all those different reasons, the love is pretty much equal all the way around.

Megan of course, has that oldest child advantage. Of all of the children, she was loved first. There are no words really to describe the anticipation and experience of becoming a mother for the first time. Mike and I remember looking into her little cradle the first night we were home, and wondering what in the world we were going to do with her. It is no secret that growing up I always said I was going to have all boys. That is what I thought I wanted. Megan of course changed that, but I loved it. I loved pink. I loved hair bows. I loved pretty dresses. I loved having a baby girl.
Megan is my favorite. Megan made me a mother, she made all my little girl wishes of growing up and becoming a mom, come true.

(Megan, 8 years old)

Luke. When I found out I was pregnant with Luke I immediately wanted him to be a boy. A BOY! I wanted a rough and tumble, little boy. Megan spent a lot of time riding in Bobcats, trucks and machinery with Mike. We needed a boy. I wanted a boy so badly I became really worried about what I would think if 'it' was a girl. While I was laying on the bed during 'the gender ultrasound,' I instructed the technician to tell me when she knew what the baby was, and when I was ready I'd ask her to tell us. She soon indicated she knew, and after a few moments, I quietly asked, "What is it?" She answered and I burst into tears, I cried and cried. The technician turned to Mike and asked, "Was that the right or wrong answer?" Mike with a big smile on his face replied, "It was the right answer."
Luke is my favorite. Luke was the little boy I wanted so badly.

(Luke, 5 1/2 years old)

Ellie. Typically, most couples know they will at some point have children. Mike and I didn't really have a 'set number' decided, but after one and then two, we knew that wasn't it. We wanted a third. The day I found out I was pregnant with Ellie, I made a dessert and put in the fridge with a sign in it for Mike to read when he got home, "See you in May, Love The Stork." We decided early on with the pregnancy, that since we had a girl and a boy already, we'd be surprised at delivery. Only problem was, there would be no need for a surprise. I knew she was a little girl, and her name was already picked out, "Annie Louise." A couple of hours after Ellie was born, it was just she and I in the hospital alone. I could not settle, I could not rest. She wasn't an Annie. I even shed a few tears, but she was not Annie. She was Ellie, Ellie Louise.
Ellie is my favorite. Ellie was the baby, no one had to tell me what she was, we were already connected. I knew she would be my little girl.
(Ellie, 11 months old)

Joshua. Mike and I had three kids. We were pretty content. When Ellie was about a year old, we moved into a new house. When we were doing a walk-through of the nearly completed house, I chose the biggest room for Luke. I remember wondering why it mattered, but I really felt like it should be his room. Another year passed, and I spent an afternoon with my girlfriends and one of them cried because she felt like she should have a third baby, but didn't really want to. During the conversation, I began to feel unsettled, but somewhat ignored my feelings, until that evening. While at a family event, I knew I had to have another baby. I went home and told Mike we needed to have another baby, I told him I was pretty sure it was going to be a boy. During my labor with Joshua, (though it was recorded on my medical records, I never had been told whether he was a boy or girl), a nurse 'accidentally' told us we were having a girl. I was devastated. I couldn't believe I had received a spiritual prompting that was 'wrong.' I cried more than once during those few hours of pain, that I wanted a boy. It was supposed to be a boy. When Joshua arrived, Mike with tears streaming down his own face, held him up to me and said, "You got your boy."
Joshua is my favorite. Joshua is the little boy that 'whispered' to me that he still needed to come.

(Joshua, 14 months old)

Drew. When Mike and I made our initial decision to have Joshua, deep down I knew there would be another one too. I also knew it would be my last. I tried to savor each part of my pregnancy with Drew. I tried to complain a little less, and feel blessed a little more. Each time he kicked inside of me, I recognized the miracle of a life inside of me. Each time he awoke for those middle of the night feedings, I tried to appreciate the temporary stage of a newborn. And just the other day, when Drew attempted to take a step from the couch to my open arms, I cried.
Drew is my favorite. Drew will always be my baby.

(Drew, 2 months old)

And now, as a mother of five, I appreciate my parents and my brothers, and Mike's parents and siblings and the love between each of them a little more.

We all have our favorites.
Whether we'll admit it or not.

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