14 May 2011


Growing up I felt quite strongly that one of my sisters was the favorite daughter while I was more or less the black sheep of the family. This was absolutely not true - in fact, that "favored" sister felt just as strongly that I was the favorite and she the black sheep. But despite coming to this understanding, I find myself extremely sensitive to any preferential treatment of siblings.

Today, at my niece's birthday party, I found myself musing over the favoritism issue once again. I've been witness to several times over the last month where it feels that my children receive unequal treatment. This has been worrisome to me, even though I know the logical explanations behind it. I remember how easily I was convinced that I was the least favorite, though we were all loved equally. I remember how it ripped my and my sister's relationship to shreds for the majority of our lives so far. How it constantly picked at my self esteem. How it severely damaged my relationship with my parents. How it stopped me from wanting to adopt because I was scared I wouldn't be able to love that child as much as my "real" children.

I made myself a promise that I would never make my children go through that, if I could help it. But I'm off to a lousy start. Even aside from the instances of last month, I am embarrassed to note that the majority of the contents of our toy closet are Yonah's. It's easily at least a 4 to 1 ratio, and it would be an even greater difference if I hadn't started calling certain toys both of theirs. I worry that she won't be able to catch up to his two year head start. And I do worry a little that neither she or Lila will find themselves equal to his standing of first (grand)child and (currently) only (grand)son.

How much of this is my past shadowing my childrens' future? Am I the only one who notices this? Is it simply because of my old emotional scars that I do?

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