I feel like I didn’t really know the true capacity of my heart until I had children. Of course I loved my parents and my sister (most of the time). I’d even been in love once or twice before the kids came along. Oh the memories! The love for a child is like no other love. It’s the feeling that someone else is more important than you. This tiny being consumes you and life as you knew it is gone.
It took me a couple of days to adjust to this new presence in my life when my first was born. I can’t say it came instantly. When he became ill at four days old it hit me like a baseball bat to the back of the head. I would die for him. I would kill for him. Most importantly I would live for him. I loved him so deeply.
It seems inconceivable to me that there would be any space for anyone else. I didn’t want him to be an only child but I stressed, worrying that I couldn’t possibly love ‘number 2’ as much as I loved my first born. Turns out no matter how many children you have, your heart adjusts. It just gets bigger and bigger.
There’s a but. Isn’t there always a but?
I have a favourite.
My middle boy is my favourite. He’s my favourite when I want to be smothered in hugs and kisses. When I need someone to tell me I’m pretty even though I’m well overdue a wash. He’s my favourite when I’m looking for that little spark of attitude that shows me that I’m rearing kids that won’t be walked over in life.
When I need some girly time because I’m fed up scraping urine off the toilet my daughter is my favourite. She’s my favourite when I want to escape to fantastic lands plucked from a wild imagination where her Daddy is always the hero. When I need someone to be grateful for the little things like new socks she’s my favourite. She’s my favourite when I need the comfort of a movie I’ve watched with her a hundred times.
The eldest boy is my favourite when I feel like reminiscing about how much I used to love video games. When I’m looking to hear someone talk passionately about something they love he’s my favourite. He’s my favourite when I need company but I’m not in the mood to chat, just to feel the warmth of the familiar.
They are all my favourites at different times and for different reasons. Whatever I need my children give that to me. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not an episode of The Waltons I’m living in, they drive me bat shit crazy on a daily basis. That’s their favourite thing to do.
I worried I wouldn’t love them all the same. They are not the same person so the love is equal but for different reasons. In reality the favourite one will be whichever one of them grows up to be a millionaire and spoils their mother. That’s not too much to ask.
After all I gave them my heart….. Divided into three equal parts.