The other night my oldest son sat next to me and whispered into my ear, “I’m your easiest child, aren’t I, Mom?”
I had to laugh, because right now, yes, he is my easiest, but had he asked me that question any other time, the answer might have been no.
The fact of the matter is, with three children, there have been different times in all of their lives where they each have been the easiest and the most difficult. My oldest just happens to be the easiest at the time of this writing. Tomorrow, it may be another story.
In the years of raising my kids, there have been those moments that I still cringe about, as I’m sure you do too. The non-easy moments. As parents we all have them and we’d all probably trade them in if we could, but it’s just part of parenting.
When my third kid came along, he was very much the easiest kid because he had no choice. We tossed him in his baby swing in the corner of the family room and there he sat for probably the first year, doing nothing but swinging and sucking on a pacifier. I was busy with a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old. When he wasn’t swinging in the corner, he was toted to gymnastics, preschool, soccer and playdates and he learned to go with the flow. Today, at 13, he’s a very easygoing kid.
My daughter, my middle child… well, some days she’s easy, some days she’s not. It depends on the hormones, but she’s always responsible, helpful and kind. As a baby she wouldn’t fall asleep unless I was rocking her, her tiny fist shoved in my mouth. That wasn’t so easy.
My oldest, the one who recently whispered in my ear, wanting confirmation that he’s my easiest kid? Not always so easy. He was my only C-section baby so I have him to blame for my most difficult birth (reminder to him: not easy). As a newborn he was constantly projectile vomiting, like across the room. He had night terrors for years and dealt with boy teen drama that rivaled any mean girl situation, so on the ‘easy kid scale’ he’s not exactly coming up roses.
But I’m not keeping score, because nobody handed me a kid at birth and said, “Here, this is going to be easy, have fun with it!” That’s not what I signed up for when I chose to have children. I signed up for everything. The pain, the joy, the heartbreak, the love… every damn emotion I’ve felt for the past 17 years of being a mom. And yes, even the easy stuff.
So, as I sat there with my oldest son, the one who’s only going to be with me for a year and a half before he leaves for college, the one who’s 6 foot 7, practically a man already, I told him that all my kids are easy sometimes, and I don’t have one who is easier than the other, and he knows that already.
He grinned at me and I was reminded at how little time I had left with him, and my heart cracked a tiny bit — that’s one of the hard parts — and then he said to me:
“But you love me the most, right?”