Friday, May 21, 2010

How to make One of Many feel like your One and Only

"Mama, can I have some milk, please?"  her soft little hands clasp mine and she leads me to the kitchen.  I reach for her cup, the special one, and she brings the gallon jug.  She strains from the weight of it and her eyes light on the cup in my hands.  "Oh Mama, its my FAVORITE!" I smile and nod down love while taking the milk from her and pouring out.  I know these words well - we rehearse them daily.  And goodness knows that I will wash that little cup as often as it takes to hear those words and see that smile.

One of my many jobs as a Mama is to be the keeper of favorites - favorite books, favorite songs, favorite ways to snuggle, favorite cups and spoons, favorite dresses, favorite shirts.  It isn't a job usually enumerated in the list of common mommy-duties, but it is a vitally important one.  It is one of the things I love about being with them all day, every day.  I know B likes his sandwiches with peanut butter and honey cut into triangles.  F likes hers the same, just cut into squares, and D isn't one for peanut butter, but prefers "real" sandwiches - her word for turkey or tuna.

Why does this all matter?  After all, they are all little minute details,  but perhaps because they are such little notions and small moments, I feel that they say so much.  As bystander and constant observer of my little ones, I know them better than anyone else.   When I can do little things for them that recognize their individuality, I will.  Am I worried this will "spoil" them?  Not in the slightest.  Being from a larger than average family, I saw this practice first hand and really felt loved and validated as a result.  I never felt like just one of 7 kids but rather my own unique self among other unique individuals.

My kids are learning that they don't always get to be first, or that they don't always get to pick the movie we watch as a family.  Just having siblings teaches them that things don't always go their way.  If I can, in some small way, validate them with a little personalized encouragement of some kind, I'm going for it.  And I truly believe that this will help them grow in confidence that, although they may be one of many, they are still incredibly special to me.


  1. Nothing to add, just love it and agree with you wholeheartedly.


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