Hi. My name is Alison and I’m the mother of two beautiful girls.
Seriously though, what mom doesn’t think her kids are beautiful? We have to be able to admit that we’re all biased in that way. It’s not like any one of us is going to come out and say, “Yeah, I’ve got this one great looking kid but the other one is so fugly that I can only hope a blind person falls in love with it so I can finally marry it off one day.”
Regardless of their appearances, there isn’t any crotchfruit out there in the world who’s better than our own crotchfruit. That is a fact. The same holds true when we have more than one. No two precious snowflakes are exactly alike, but when they’re our snowflakes, we love them equally.
But… do we have to like them equally? Because I gotta tell you, sometimes I haven’t.
Before you tie to me a stake and burn me alive for being The Wicked Witch Of The Midwest, hear me out: I love both of my children, unequivocally and unconditionally. There is nothing on this earth that I wouldn’t do for either one of them, including pimping myself out to a brothel that only services clowns. Yeah, that’s how serious I am – that’s love. I fucking hate clowns.
The truth is, at different ages and stages, parents do have favorites. We do. There are times when, for whatever reason, we just feel more bonded to one of our children more than the others. And you know what? That’s normal.
When my eldest daughter hit puberty, she suddenly turned into a child beast who shot death lasers from her eye sockets whenever I so much as looked at her the wrong way. If I reminded her to remove her clothing from the bathroom floor and place it in the hamper that sat a mere six inches away, I was met with an eye roll and a long, deep sigh that turned into a feral, demonic growl. We argued over the stupidest shit. The bedroom door that had previously remained open was now closed, my distant child emerging from her cocoon of solitude for meals, showers, and school attendance.
She wanted her space, as girls so often do at that age, and I gave it to her as much as I could. I missed her, but I got it. I understood.
Meanwhile, her younger sister was still in the cuddly I-want-my-mommy-all-the-time stage. We snuggled up together just about every day to watch a television show, or to talk about subjects that ranged from the new kid at school to the reason why belly buttons collect so much lint. She told me she loved me at least once an hour – and sometimes more often than that if she had forgotten that she’d already said it five minutes before.
We were inseparable. And during that time, as much as it pains me to admit this using actual words on a page, I just… liked her more. Maybe it was because she needed me, or maybe it was because I just felt closer to her. I don’t know. She didn’t try to bite my head off every five seconds, perhaps that had something to do with it.
These days, my eldest daughter is nearing 16 and she’s one of my best friends. We talk about everything. We make each other laugh until we practically pee our pants. We hug every day. We say, “I love you,” every day. She texts me from school, reminding me to drive safely when I go to work. That’s a priceless gift and as a mother, it’s more than I could ever ask for.
Her door is still closed a lot of the time, but it’s because she’s dancing like a spazz on the other side and needs her privacy. I get it. I did the exact same thing when I was her age, only instead of dancing, I pretended to be a figure skater, practicing my arabesques and axel jumps, masterfully sliding across the wood floor of my bedroom while wearing the slipperiest pair of socks I owned.
(My kids come from goofy stock and I am unashamed of that fact.)
Her younger sister, on the other hand, has entered a phase where she’s seeking more independence. More alone time. Even though she’s been forty years old since the age of two, at twelve years old, she’s establishing some distance now. Her bedroom door is always closed. I knock before entering the quiet sanctuary whose walls reflect the colors of the sea.
My younger daughter and I are still close, but I’m keenly aware that our relationship is evolving. I wonder how detached she will become, and for how long. I wonder if we will argue. I wonder a lot of things.
But that’s the nature of parenthood when you get right down to it, isn’t it? Every relationship ebbs and flows over time. They grow and they change, but where there is deep and unconditional love, they always remain.
That said, I’m currently placing bets on which one of my kids is going to try to put me in a home when I get old and decrepit. Right now, my money is on the younger one.