childhood

Of course, I have a favorite

I am older than my sister by more than nine years. I grew up partly as an only child. With nine years into such a status, it was a bit hard to switch to being an older sister. I went from being the one and only to being labeled first born. Such a label isn’t bad as it connotes leadership and strength, as well as secondary mom.

Because I was gifted and first born, I always assumed I was the favorite child. Why wouldn’t I be? My mom always addressed my birthday cards and the like as “daughter number one” which completely annoyed my sister. I tried explaining to my sister that my mom was quite literal and she was just noting birth order. Of course, it didn’t help that because I was older there were a lot more things in life I could do as well as get credit for.

At the end of the day, I may have been my mom’s favorite. But she never said so. She actually noted that she loved us both equally. Who am I to dispute my mom’s assertion? Thing is, I only have one child. I adore him completely. He would like a sibling so that he could have a playmate. Apparently, my working cramps his playtime ideas. I won’t be having another child. Thus, I won’t know how it is to love both kids equally. Or at least pretend to.

Here is the thing. I have supervised hundreds as a boss. I will tell you flat out, I have had favorites in in terms of staff. We are supposed to treat all employees equally and I endeavor to do so. However, I do have favorites. I do not play favorites. That is a whole other game. I certainly have staff that I prefer to say hello to in the morning, although I greet everyone with exuberance. I certainly have staff that I prefer to eat lunch with, although I will break bread with all. I certainly have staff that I look forward to chatting with, although I endeavor to make small talk with everyone.

I have favorites based on work ethic, sense of humor, fashion sense and pop culture knowledge. I have favorites based on who I can gossip with. Basically, I have favorites based on who I connect with and that is totally normal. Its ok to have favorites especially based on a good work ethic. I see nothing wrong with liking more those who work hard. As such, I again wonder about mothers having favorites. Isn’t that normal? As a society, do we expect equal love? We can certainly expect it, but is it realistic. Its a tough, sad question to pose. I’m glad I only have one and he is, of course, perfect.

2 replies »

  1. I’ve always said a parent should have more than one child, just as confirmation that each one is different. My mom’s curse on my sister and myself was that we should have a child like us, to which my response was always that that would be great as then I would know how to handle said child. I have two daughters, and the eldest is like me in many ways, so my response to Mom’s curse has held true. My sister is childless and my youngest is like her in many ways (so I blame Sis for transferring Mom’s curse on her to me), and like her father in many ways as well. I wouldn’t say that I love #1 more than #2 (which is also how my dad would sometimes refer to us), it’s just easier to love her since she often lives up to her other nickname “Mini-me.” Spouse says #2 is more his family name than even he is, and also bestowed upon her the nickname of Pain-In-the-Butt (PIB). She was really like this before she became an adult when she looked to me alone to decide what she should and even what she should eat. It wore on me then, but now I kind of miss it. I wouldn’t tell her that, though!

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