Time Magazine has an article, Playing Favorites: Why Mom Likes You (Or One of Your Siblings) Best, which proves what everyone who has a sibling and a parent has known since Cain and Able – that there is a favorite child. They have even gone as far as finding evolutionary evidence as to why — species survival — of course. It must be noted that the article also states that parents also inherently know that the old line, “We love you all equally,” is still the hard and fast rule that should be maintained because it makes all siblings feel better. Even though all siblings know exactly which child is the “Golden Child.”
Since I am the obvious “Golden Child,” as the article states this is “usually the oldest child,” (aside from those pesky 20 Black Sheep years that took up my teens and 20s), and because I am also a non-conformist child, I’ll just go ahead and break the common wisdom and tell you who my favorite child is. . .
My favorite child is Ainsley. I mean I have a whole blog about her and all, so it’s completely obvious. I like her best because she is exactly like me. She’s spunky and smart as a whip and socially bright and witty and funny. Just like me. She knows her mind, is unfraid to speak her opinion. She gets excellent grades, she’s the smartest kid in her class and she’s teacher’s pet. What is not to love? I mean, really? As the article says, it’s often the pretty children who parents love the most and I suppose this is true. I often stare at Ainsley and think, “Wow, she’s so stunningly beautiful.” And it probably does make me love her even more.
But, who am I kidding? I love Zackary the most. He’s my baby and since he was born I’ve been madly, crazy in love with him. He smells like a puppy and at five he still fits perfectly curled up in the curve of my body as he snuggles up next to me when we’re spooning. He still sleeps with me every night until his dad kicks him out of the bed. He’s there not because he’s scared, but because I know it’s only going to last a second before he’s 16 and he won’t want to sleep with me curled in the fetal position, like he wants to crawl back into my womb, smelling like a puppy, his breath smelling like cantaloupe. Ainsley always wants to sleep by me too, but I never let her, she’s too big, I say.
Zack is so coordinated too, he can handle any kind of ball like a pro. He’s super social and everyone wants to be his friend. All the girls want to be his girlfriend – just like me. But, I know I’m his true love. When he was barely three he hopped right on a two-wheeler bike and just took off, he’s amazing on a bike. He rides better than any kid on the block, popping wheelies and taking ramps and curbs with no fear whatsoever. I love to watch him. Did I mention that he’s stunningly beautiful? He’s blond-haired, blue-eyed, golden-tanned gorgeous and sweet as ever.
Ah, but Ainsley, I love her the best because she writes me love letters. She’s got my gift of language. She talks to me. She tells me her secrets, she loves words like I do. At night we lay in my bed reading for hours, we talk about stories and the structure of language. This year we both got published in books. How exciting and awesome is that? We write things. . . we edit things. She produces plays for the neighbor kids, she teaches a school up in her room. She lets me do her hair, we talk about being girls. We talk about feelings and what we’re going to be when we grow up. We share our hopes and dreams with each other. Not like the men we live with who don’t seem to have many feelings, hopes or dreams – or if they do, they are disinclined to share them. I love to watch her plan and organize and make goals and achieve them. She’s such a high achiever. I cannot wait to see how high she can go.
Ah, but Zack, he’s so sweet and yummy and I worry so little about him because he’s a boy. He’s tough and he can take care of himself and there are so many fewer things to be worried about . . . I don’t worry about eating disorders or date rape or mean girls or abusive boyfriends or bullies or kidnappers or sex offenders. Maybe I should worry about these things but I don’t, because he’s a boy and also because he’s the kind of easy boy that he is. Social and tough and beautiful and confident. The fact that I don’t worry about these things make him so freaking easy to love. I love him with ease. It’s so simple and fun. We argue so much less than Ainsley and I. Also I don’t have any baggage. Because I don’t bring a Mother/Son relationship history with me. Only a big fat Mother/Daughter relationship with me, and poor Ainsley is the one who carries the burden of that. Zack is entirely free of it. And so damn easy to love.
Ah, see. I won the Baby Lottery. I get to have a Favorite Daughter. I get to have a Favorite Son. A Golden Daughter. A Golden Son.They both get to be the Favorites. And no one has to be the Black Sheep.