Favorites


Really, this was just meant to be a collection of my favorite photos from the past couple of weeks.
*****

My kids are always accusing me of having favorites. I’m sure you know how it works, one child makes the comment (my oldest usually) and then the others pick up on it and start saying the same. This holds true for lots of things, not just silly accusations. I always smile and agree that whomever is being called my favorite, actually is. When I do that, it makes the absurdity of it more obvious I think. I kiss the baby while saying, “Yes, Keats is definitely my favorite.”

I think it must have been my Aunt Genie (or was it you, mom?) who sent us a book many years ago titled, I Love You the Purplest. The story follows a mother of two boys as she describes to each the ways in that she loves them both equally, but differently. I feel confident that all of my children know that they are loved and valued, and that when I ask one to do a chore for me, and he accuses me of favoring the one I didn’t ask, that he doesn’t really mean it.

They really are all my favorites, and I do my best to try to really know them each and understand them as individuals. I think that must be why Jonny and I said “Yes” to another year of travel baseball yesterday.

It would be easiest to simply say that playing on this particular team, the one that Gabe and Keats have been playing with for a year now, is very important to them. I’d venture to say that it’s more important to Gabe. I’m sure Keats would disagree with that. Gabe spent the week quietly demonstrating how important it is to be allowed to play with his teamnext season by both working hard at anything he was asked to do without grumbling, while also totally accepting the possibility that he would have to play on a rec team, losing his established community in the process. He didn’t plead or beg, that’s not his style. He’s never the child to fight to the front of the dessert line. Have I mentioned that he’s one of my favorites? Baseball is his thing and we are going to make it work for another year. Jonny’s not afraid to sell donuts on the corner to raise the money and I can give up fourteen weekends a year for tournaments. (And actually, it’s never the entire weekend. Our faith comes first, and we don’t miss Mass for baseball.) We are lucky in that there is a lot of baseball in our area and we don’t have to travel far. No hotel stays. Seth brings his metal detector to tournaments and loves finding everyone’s lost change. The younger kids make friends and get to eat things that I usually don’t allow such as snow cones.
I find it difficult to make big commitments. I think many of us struggle with that. And I think we can all agree that love for our children is often the factor that pushes us beyond ourselves in ways that ultimately make us better.

And for all these reasons and those that can remain unspoken, I guess I’ll be spending another year washing red clay out of white baseball pants. It’s becoming one of my special talents.

Comments

  1. I love this post–such an encouragement to me today as I spend my homeschool-planning week overseeing my kids’ attempts to potty training the rescue puppy I said “yes” to on Saturday. I got here from Ann’s, although I’ve read your name so often at In the Heart of My Home because of Yarn Along. I’ve always wished that I knew more about knitting so that I could keep up with yarn selections, patterns, stitch counts, increases & decreases, etc. Maybe one day… Nice to meet you. 🙂

  2. People ask me sometimes if I have a favourite (people wiht one or no children). I always tell them that no, no favourites, they are all annoying on their very own special way 🙂 That is a joke of course, but there is still some thruth to it. Just when I’m all in love with one of them he or she does something that pushes my buttons in a way that only she/he knows how. But like a said to my daughter the other day, we don’t love the people we love because they’re perfect, we love the people we love because they are.

  3. Lovely photos, as always!
    Growing up, my mom would always whisper to us, “You’re my favorite. Don’t tell the others.” We knew that she said the same thing to the other three siblings, but it was always a special time for us to feel particularly close to her. For my own children, I love when I can pull them close and say, “You’re my favorite ____ (eight, six, four, etc…) year old!”

  4. Both this post and the one in which you were debating dropped into my reader at the same time. I now see they were days apart. I was thinking — wow she made that decision really quickly! Ha! Glad you came to a consensus. Usually it feels so good once you’ve made the decision.
    Maybe Seth can find enough coins to pay for travel! Or you can sell doughnuts at the games. Our high school used to sell Krispy Kremes (fundraising division) at the end of every game — they never had any left. Who doesn’t want to take doughnuts home for the next morning? (Well, maybe you 😉 )

  5. Mary Pietz says:

    Just a view from the other side of the fence….I would give almost anything to have just one of those busy summer days back to re-live

  6. Great photographs with the snake! Your children are always so ‘at one’ with their environment and so embrace being outside and part of the world!

  7. Mikaela says:

    This is such an exquisite post–for the photos, the sentiment and the honesty. What a difficult and incredibly selfless decision you made. Fourteen weekends is a lot and busyness comes at a huge cost, but I was secretly rooting for Gabe & Keats because I can tell even from your posts how much it means to them to play. (Gabe’s birthday cupcake story was so sweet.) It sounds like quite the gift from your whole family to make this work.

  8. congrats on making your big decision, it must be a weight off of your shoulders.
    my mom always said that her love for my brother and i was like two cups of sugar… equal in size but every grain was different. i use it with my own three because it resonated so much with me as a child.
    here’s to another year of baseball with all of your favorites!

  9. Katherine says:

    Can’t decide if Job or Judy is cuter!!!!! It always alarms me when I see the kids with the snakes Down under we run screaming from snakes as though our very lives depend on it (which, in fact, they do). But then we don’t have to deal with bears or pumas so I guess it evens out. That pic of the girls. love. sister love is so special. I need to get back into the don’t miss mass for anything rhythm. xx

  10. Corinne says:

    Oh my, that Job is just soooooooooooo cute!!!
    I just love babies and I must confess all babies are ‘my
    favorite’ all the time!!
    love, love, love your photos!!!
    Corinne

  11. beautiful……I always say “You are my favourite Charlie!” and “you are my favourite Thomas” and so on. The six year old is convinced that she is “my favourite favourite!” They all say I am their best mummy :)….they say other things on other days but I will ignore that for now

  12. I love those photos, Ginny! They’re such a treat to look at. Thanks for letting us in on how you deal with the “favorites” thing. I worry about that and your solution is perfect.
    How do you get the red clay out?

  13. Jennifer says:

    “I find it difficult to make big commitments. I think many of us struggle with that. And I think we can all agree that love for our children is often the factor that pushes us beyond ourselves in ways that ultimately make us better.”
    Yes, yes, and yes! Glad you made the decision. Sometimes that’s the hardest part.

  14. Love this so much and so glad you were able to make a decision you can have peace with. I hope we can do the same. (By the way, I hope my comment from the other post didn’t come across as too opinionated! I was just thinking things through for us while I was writing but realize maybe it came across differently. I hope not but I apologize if it did.)

  15. I Love You the Purplest is such a great book.
    I’m glad you’ve made a decision you feel right about with baseball–and you have a far better attitude about it than I would, I know! A lot of parenting is so much about sacrifice and unselfishness; it’s a daily struggle for me.
    I’m especially happy for Gabe–the baseball field is one of the places he really shines, and somehow I knew it would be especially important to him. 🙂

  16. Such a sweet post! Yes, we play the favorite game here, too. 🙂

  17. Stephanie in Germany says:

    My oldest tries to catch me off guard and commit to saying she is my favorite or the very best daughter… She thinks she is very sly, but I always end up frustrating her attempts with my standard reply: “You are the best OLDEST daughter I ever had!” We both laugh. btw, she is 18!

  18. I am so happy to hear you said ‘yes’. If I can make it up there please tell Jonny I’ll take a dozen. 🙂

  19. Oh, I love this so much! These photos are so good and I love seeing the love on all their faces (especially that cute one of the girls!). I’m so excited for the boys that you said “yes” to baseball, they must be so excited.
    Hahah the favorite game! I love how you respond. My oldest sister thinks my middle sister is the favorite, my middle sister thinks my brother is the favorite and I think I’m the favorite. Ha!

  20. I tell my kids they my favorite all the time. They’ve caught on and tell me “You say that to everyone.”

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