By Lee Ann “Sunny” Brown
I know that as moms, we are not supposed to have a favorite. But let’s be honest—we also know that we do. We just try and hide it because we don’t want to be judged. It’s usually just best to keep these kinds of things to ourselves. Usually, of course, this relationship begins with the firstborn. I mean, it makes sense—that’s when it all begins, so it’s only natural that we develop an attachment, a special fondness for that particular bond. It’s a bond that just grows stronger and more profound over time, especially if we end up bringing other children into our lives. So here is a little love letter to my favorite:
It became apparent pretty much from the very start that I was going to need some help getting used to those early days of motherhood. Luckily, you made it easy for me, and I am always so thankful that I was able to rely on you to come through for me during those times. All those moments spent together in the wee hours of the morning, those early evenings without an afternoon nap, looking to get through the long night ahead, and then when the realization set in that those first few weeks were going to turn into months…and then years. Those are some of the times we developed our strongest bonds.
Indeed, it is precisely because of these times that I ended up developing strong feelings and came to believe that no matter whatever happens, as long as I can count on you to be there with me, we can make it through anything. I can count on you to pull me through the times that I am questioning myself and my abilities, whether I am making the right decisions or making terrible mistakes. I realize that it’s both and you help me not to worry too much about it—there is no judgment, and I am forever grateful for that. I have reached for you for comfort many times through the tears and triumphs of the childhood and teenage years. I especially relied on you to make me feel better through all the eye rolling and the tone of voice that comes with those years. And I thought I might rely on you too heavily to help me keep calm when I was in the passenger seat of the newly licensed to drive. I think I rely on you the most, though, during the absences of the college years, and the separations that come from jobs that are too far away. You’ve always known just how to comfort me. You will always be my favorite.
Writing this, I realize just how much we have been through together. Of course, you have also been there to help me celebrate all the triumphs of motherhood, along with the upsets, over the years: the excitement of those first dates (and the heartache of breakups); getting the awards (and losing out); getting those first jobs. There has been so much to celebrate together in life, and I have held you in my hands all along the way! Of course, times change, and I feel that we don’t spend nearly as much time together now. It’s probably for the best. Like all great relationships, too much of a good thing can be…too much. A little time apart is good. After all, I don’t want to end up codependent, which happens to some people. It’s always good to know when we need let go.
But now, I feel that the time has come that I can finally admit that I have a favorite. Everybody’s all grown up now. No more having to sneak around and wait until the others are in bed or taking a nap or outside playing or gone to a friend’s house before we can spend some time together without getting caught and accused of playing favorites. They can handle it. Indeed, I really have the kids to thank for this relationship. After all, they are the ones who introduced us. If it hadn’t been for them, I never would have looked around for a way to help me keep my sanity, and I don’t think I would have found out how much I enjoy vodka cocktails. I am planning on thanking them this Mother’s Day. And I am going to introduce you to them, so they can learn how to make mom’s favorite.
What a relief! We can all be adults about this now and celebrate together.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. I hope you get to spend some quality time with your favorite