I remember hearing a story about a very old lady who passed away. At her funeral, her children were talking to each other and as they talked about what their mother meant to them, the eldest happened to mention that his mother had told him that he was her favorite child. The next child spoke up and said that no, his mother had told him that he was her favorite. One by one, the children all confessed that this mother had told all of them, on separate occasions, that she had a favorite. They had lived their lives with a secret between them and their mom about the “favored” status. I have loved that story and think of it often as I tell one of my kids that they are my favorite.
Lately, I have been sobered by the fact that my children are growing up very quickly. The toddler years seem to bog you down a bit, but once they are through that they just jump from toddlers to teens in no time! I apologize to my oldest child as she has had to be our guinea pig because we have never raised her age group yet! Although there is a negativity to that fact, there is also a positive.
I take a lot of time with my oldest child. Since everything is new and unknown to me, I tend to spend a lot of time and patience explaining, praying and thinking over every new and unique thing that comes up. This makes for a very earnest time of thought and prayer that goes into helping mold her life and it is all because of my own insecurity of “doing it wrong” and ruining her life forever! But….I don’t think I do that as much with the other children. So, is this devotion and earnest prayer time, really for my child or is it to save face for myself? Since I have already been through the stages of their life with my first one, I fear that I take on an air of cockiness that I have successfully completed that test and am now a master in that subject. I fail to realize that each of my children need that one on one attention and devotion that my first child received.
I have loved the results of this already. When they get to be the only one to sleep with Mommy. When they get to be the only one rewarded with a late movie night with Mom and Dad. When they get to be the only one to get to go to the store. When they get to be the only one to come in and have a private conversation time about things on their heart. When they are the only one to get to pick out the supper menu. They are all so individual and have their own unique set of challenges, strengths, struggles, gifts, talents, creativity and love language. They are a beautiful mixture of their parents and what God has given them to face the future He has planned for them. I don’t want to be guilty of overlooking them in their precious lives just because there are so many of them!
My prayer, for this season in my life, is that the Lord would help me to treat each one of my children as if they are my only child. I don’t want to have a bunch of kids. I want to have 6 “only” children. (By the way kids, each of you are my favorite!)