the practice of giving unfair preferential treatment to one person or group at the expense of another.
We all have our favorites within our family. The people we are excited to see at family gatherings, the ones we want to share our victories and complaints with, the ones we call with our problems and the ones we seek support from. As we get older, many of us find that this is our parents, perhaps from some deep-rooted idea that we need to seek their approval throughout our lives. It could also be from a healthy relationship that developed into a great friendship as the child became an adult.
I am lucky enough to be friends with my parents, and I adore and love them in my “old” age. I do seek them out to share my life, seek their advice, and oftentimes approval. However, when I was younger, like most teens, I went through a rebellious phase. During this time, the only adult I would listen to was my aunt. I held her opinion in high esteem, and still do. I felt more connected to her, and we clicked well because she didn’t have to discipline me. I liked that. I felt like I had a friend, and not a parent, and it further forged my bond with her, even if she did give me what I now recognize to be parental-type advice.
I remember vividly when she got married, and when she brought her children home for the first time. I remember being crestfallen when I found out she would be unable to attend my own wedding, and upset again when she couldn’t accompany her daughter home for my son’s christening. Within my family, aside from my parents, I still consider her my closest friend. And although I still share my important moments as best I can via pictures and phone calls or emails, I wanted to see her in person.
This week, I’m thrilled! By some twist of fate, I was finally able to be travel home at the same time she was. It’s the first time in over two years. It doesn’t seem like a long time, but in that time I had a wedding and a baby, and I feel like I’ve missed out on some quality time with my aunt. I’m anxious for her to meet my son, and sad she won’t get to see my husband. I’m more excited about sharing these moments with her than I am with any other member of my family. It’s favoritism at its finest, and I have accepted that.
I admit that I favor her over my other relatives, and I feel as if I respect her more and enjoy her company more because she’s always treated me like a grown up (in my opinion). I don’t love her more, necessarily, but I look forward to seeing her much more than, say, my uncle. He doesn’t seem very interested in what goes on in my life, is generous with his criticism of me and stingy with his praise. I love my family, but it’s hard to deny that there’s always going to be someone I’m more excited to see when I go home.
Usually I’m excited to see my mom the most, and I’m still really thrilled to see her and spend time with her. I am glad, though, that I get to see my aunt this visit. I miss all of my family, and I’m sorry if I have favorites. I hope one day, I don’t have (or at least don’t show) favorites among my kids. But like the picture says – I accept it, understand it, and try not to show it.
Anyone else have relatives they favor, or prefer to spend more time with than others? Let me know – tell me your horror stories or fun stories, and tell me if you think your favoritism is obvious!
– Monster Mama