Loving One Child More than Another

Dear Isaac,

“Do you love my brother more than me?”

This is the first time you have asked this. Until now you’ve been very very certain that I could never love anyone more than I love you. Even now you are just curious because you have become aware that parents can have favorites.

Oh sweet wonderful child. No. I don’t. I love you more because of your brother, and I love your brother more because of you, and I love your sister more because of each of you, and I love you each more because of your sister. Each of you teaches me how to love each of you more.

If your brother had never joined the family I would not love you in all of the ways that I love you now, because I would not know you in all of the ways that I know you now. And if you had never joined the family I would not love your brother or your sister as much as I love them through what you have taught me.

I don’t love each of you the way I’d love you as an only child. If you were an only child I would not know you as well. I would not see you play with your siblings. I would not see how you love and care about someone smaller and weaker than you. I would not work through the rough topics of jealousy with you. I would not learn exactly how independent and helpful you can be and want to be. Your siblings show me so much of your strengths and give me a better understanding of the things that we need to work on.

Your siblings show me exactly how much I love you for each and every single aspect of who you are as a person. Because I love them for every single aspect of who they are as a person, and each of you is so very different.

I don’t have to make more room in my heart for each new child. I don’t love you all equally. I love. All of you. Each of you. Because of you. More and more. You each teach me so much about love that it grows and it stretches and it deepens and it becomes more patient and more happy and.. Oh I wish at five I could show you what this means.

At five sometimes you don’t love me because you’re so angry that I won’t let you play video games. And I love you when you’re angry at me because I understand how deep anger can feel when you don’t have much perspective.

At five sometimes you love your gramma or your daddy or your teacher more than you love me. And I’m happy because you should have many people in your life and if you only ever loved me I’d be very sad.

At five you wonder if maybe I sometimes love someone else more than you, because sometimes you love others more than you love me. At five love is a fickle thing.

No.. Never. It doesn’t work that way when you’re thirty-two. It doesn’t work that way when you’re a parent. It doesn’t work that that way when I think of each of you and how much I love each of you.

You see. When I think about how much I love you, I think about how much I love your brother. And when I think about how much I love your brother I think about how much I love your sister and when I think about how much I love your sister or your brother I think about how much I love you.

What I feel for him and what I feel for her and what I feel for you never NEVER NEVER takes anything away. It just builds something bigger. And bigger. And bigger.

I love each of you more than I ever thought I could love anyone.

Attention and time may get divided, but love only multiplies.

<3 Mama

6 thoughts on “Loving One Child More than Another

  1. My heart burst with love after reading this. Parental love is greater than anything I could have imagined. I want to have a million children because I feel like I have that kind of love to give. Thanks for this post.

  2. I would just like to say that someone turned me onto your blog a few weeks ago and I find that I am “saving” each of your blog posts to read again. This one, I am going to read to my son and put it in his monthly card that I do because you, my dear, said it so much better than I could about he and his sister. Thank you.

  3. So much of what you’ve written here is what I’ve felt with my twins, and filed away for later use when they finally get to the age of asking that question: “Do you love my sister more than you love me?”…

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