Eleven years of Ben

Sunday, October 28, 2012

I remember once sitting in my moms' prayer group when one of my friends said: "Aww, c'mon admit it: the baby is always our favorite." She was dead serious.  Her youngest child is the one she is the most compatible with but it's part of the mom code that none of us ever utter the word "favorite."  That's reserved for the children when they are fighting with each other or trying to manipulate their parents with guilt and shame.  ("He's your favorite."  "I always knew she was your favorite.")

As kids we always remember using those phrases but they took on a different meaning when I became a parent. I think I can speak for most mothers when I say that we love all our children equally but we have a different relationship and a separate affinity with each individual child.  Being the middle child, I always thought my mom favored my younger sister because she gave in to her more often and the rules my parents were such sticklers about seemed to turn lax by the time the youngest was a teenager.  I now fully understand that you're just too tired by the third time around the mountain.  And you do react to situations differently because you know this child is your last.  You want to savor and hold onto every last moment of parenting. I have definitely experienced this firsthand with Ben.

To his brothers, Ben has the most coveted position in the family.  To Ben, it's the worst.  Being the youngest of three boys means being picked on, teased and tortured while watching your competitive siblings experience every rite of passage as you wait on the sidelines for your turn.  When your turn finally comes, it feels like forever has passed and your brothers respond with a "been there, done that."  What Ben probably won't realize until he's a father is that,  in addition to the above, he'll also get more patient, mature and easy going parents.  He'll have three years of being the only child with more resources to go around.  After watching his big brothers make their mistakes, he'll have the benefit of learning from his observations causing himself and his parents less heartache.  I'd say he won the lottery in the birth order gamble even though there may not be as many pictures of him in the scrapbook.

Aside from all the "favorite" talk, Ben is a pretty special guy and I'm so glad we get to celebrate 11 years of him being in our family.  He is conscientious, considerate, affectionate and kind.  I truly can't imagine life without his sweet disposition and giving heart.

You are a blessing to so many, Benjamin Davis and on October 28th you are definitely everyone's favorite birthday boy!  Especially mine.  P.S.: Don't tell your brothers.