Who Do You Love?

honea, whit, boys, sons, father, dad, kids, family

Hello, my name is Whit, and I used to have a favorite child. It was mostly due to timing, stages, throwing a spiral, and other things on which you judge children. He was my favorite and I didn’t hide it. In fact, I yelled it from the blogtops.

Why am I admitting this? Well, apparently (I say “apparently” because I didn’t hear about it until today) there was a lot of hootin’, hollerin’, and tweetin’ this past week about a post written on Babble in which the blogger proclaims that he has a favorite child, and then dares us (where “us” equals the reader) to say that we don’t. Then, about a dozen subsequent posts later, he drops this nugget: “Maybe it’s a dad thing.”

That got to me. The fact is, he, as a blogger, is free to say whatever he wants about his own life and his personal feelings toward kids, movies, politics, or ice cream, but to insinuate that it might be something that dads tend to do? Well, that steps away from the personal and into my space. I do not care for guilt by association. It angered me enough to write a tersely worded reply, but our posts have to be longer than that so I decided to give it a great deal of thought — and, here is the shocker, it turns out he is right. I am a dad and there was a time that I openly admitted that I had a favorite kid. Hence, the first line of this post. Give a hoot and feel free to holler. Also, follow me on Twitter.

Loving one child so much was something that haunted me for years, and as such I addressed it in a recent video that I made with a group of other dads. We discussed our thoughts and fears about fatherhood, and my story dealt with the concern that there isn’t enough love to go around — that it might be impossible for parents to love their children equally. After all, how much love can one guy have? Love is not some endless resource like water, bacon, or oil. Love is finite, isn’t it?

And still I loved the one son more than anything else you could possibly name. Yes, even more than whatever you just said.

Thankfully, I was able to move past it, and I am now pleased to say that I love both of my children exactly the same. Sure, I might do something with one more than the other, but that is playing to their individual requests and interests rather than any sort of ranking on my behalf. The fact is, I don’t love one more than the other because I love them both all the way to eleven, and that is one level higher than love normally goes.

By now you are probably wondering how it is that I was able to start loving my second child just as much as my first, and the answer is easy: He was born.

And I have never looked back.

whit, honea, sons, kids, boys, brothers, family

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