|Wednesday, March 10, 2010|
By BECKY ANDREWS
It comes up a few times a year. When one of my boys is getting in trouble for mishandling a video game, leaving wet towels on the floor or not putting their dirty clothes in the hamper, the suspect will look at me with big blue eyes puddle in tears and say, “I knew you didn’t love me best! You always take his side! You’ll never love me best!”
Because of this I have decided to finally tell my children which one I actually love the best.
Because you are my oldest, I most certainly love you best. I love you best because you were our guinea pig. You were the child who had to experience all of your mother’s mistakes. You were the one who loved to get dirty. But, because your mother was convinced any amount dirt would irreparably harm her little boy, you were not allowed to touch anything that wasn’t sprayed with Lysol or washed in bleach.
You were the one who has every monument documented in a baby book. The curls from your first haircut are neatly placed in a shadow box along with a birth announcement and hospital bracelet. Your first tooth — that the kind tooth fairy gave back to me — is in an envelope tucked away for safe keeping.
My little boy who prefers I no longer call him, “my little boy” but instead, “my oldest.” You, my little oldest boy who is tough and edgy yet still likes to give his mama hugs and kisses. I love you the best because you were patient while I was learning the ropes of motherhood. I love you the best because you taught me that happiness is more about grass stains and mud pies than pressed rompers and coordinating hats. I love you best because you are the best big brother ever. For these reasons and so many more that’s why I love you best.
And my baby who isn’t a baby anymore, here are the reasons I love you best. I love you best because even with terrible colic you still managed to show me your first big toothless smile. I love you best because you didn’t mind carrot-stained, hand-me-downs or cardboard books that had been chewed on by your big brother. I love you best because no one (and I mean no one) can calm you down like me.
I love you best because you love looking at all the items I haven’t had a chance to organize in a baby book. I love you best because you are more concerned about the logistics of how Santa and the Tooth Fairy get around than what they will be bringing you. I love you best because you are serious and silly all at once. I love you best because no one makes a better little brother than you.
I learn something new from my boys everyday. And because on a daily basis I get a glimpse at what kind of men they will become, I feel very fortunate to know that right now I’m the mom they love the best.