Go ahead and accuse me of loving my boys differently than eachother. I completely agree with you. I love them differently, completely.
To my boys,
I love you all the same, but different.
I’ve been thinking and doing some self “observing” lately. Call me thoughtful, bored, emotional or whatever. Although you could probably write “bored” off the list as it seems there is no time for this luxury. God created me, watched me grow and stumble, get back up, and so forth and then decided I was worthy of four beautiful boys. Shocking isn’t it? It shocks me, most days. It astounds me because I know myself. My strengths and weaknesses. Like most people out there, I can list all my inadequate character flaws to you, my short comings and all the reasons why I should not be trusted with four lives so precious. However, God knows my heart and He felt differently about the whole matter. He sees us all for what we are. What our true value is, our capabilities. Even when we can’t, He sees what we can bring to the table.
So I was questioning myself, “do I love my boys the same?” The answer is yes and also no. Let me explain. Yes I love them the same. I would put my life down for any and all of them. Fiercely protect them all. Encourage and push them all the same. (Although, often in different directions) Ultimately I want them to share the same basic qualities. My hearts desire is for them to be men seeking God, kind, honest, hard working and independent. Men who can stand for what’s right and just. Men of integrity. Men who will make good husbands and wise fathers. Men, who stand out for WHO they are and not for WHAT they have.
With each child I felt the same overwhelming new and extended love for them the moment they arrived into this world. I’ve stayed up at night with all of them, I’ve comforted them all, been bursting with pride for all of them, have cried over them, looked at each of them in awe. Often I look at them and think, “wow! I’ve kept you alive for xx amount of years, we are doing pretty good here!” But…..
I love them differently. Here’s why. They are different. I’m different. Each sweet boy of mine and I, have our own story. Our own individual story. A story that’s unique, just between us. Which makes our relationships different. Our love different. Our dynamic different. Make sense? I could write each story, which I won’t right now, but I could. The feelings behind every pregnancy, birth, relationship, circumstance etc. They way each one of us bonded and why. Alex, Josh, Gavin and Ethan are all individuals and came to me under different circumstances, separate scenarios so to speak. But, they are all mine. They all were formed near my heart the same way. Just different. The birth of each child changed me. Changed my life. Changed my direction and focus. Brought a new and unique view into my life. One made me a mom, one taught me my own resilience and determination, one brought a childhood dream to fruition and one completed my life. They all have huge irreplaceable and valued roles in my world.
If you think I treat them different, I’m going to say, “YOU’RE RIGHT I DO!” They ARE different. Their basic needs are the same but they NEED different parenting at times. They function as individuals and should be treated as such. They all have their own personalities, their own sensitivities and strengths. They feel and react differently. They listen and learn in separate ways from each other.
Parenting is challenging and rewarding. It can be frustrating and you can have times where all you feel is defeat. It also comes with a love so strong it often physically hurts. It comes with pride that can make you feel like you are going to explode! Heartache, that brings you to your knees. Through it all there is an unbreakable bond between a parent and their child. There is God’s grace and wisdom to guide you. In each story of my boys and I, God has always been present. Whether I was strong and wise enough to acknowledge it or not, He has been there. He is here. As much as we love our children, so God loves us and more. We are His children. What we desire and strive to give our children He also does for us and more. Much, much more. While we are trying to teach our children how to navigate and build a life, He has given life. He has offered us eternity in His presence. He loves us as individuals, sees us as individuals all within the body of Christ. Shouldn’t we do the same for our children? Love them as individuals within the whole our families?
I love my boys the same.
I love my boys differently.