When I had Allie I swore I was one and done. I had a great job, a husband who tried to be wonderful, a well discplined dog and a seemingly perfect child. I did not think I had the capacity to love a child as much as I love Allie. I did not think I would have the patience for another child. Because, let’s face it, having a husband and a dog is like having a more children. (I do love him, though, I swear!).
Then five years later, Boo appeared. I should start off with saying, that while not planned, Boo was not a ‘mistake’ or a reason for despair. Once we learned I was pregnant we were ecstatic. Okay, wait a minute, I admit I cried to my boss–but seriously I was ONE AND DONE! On top of it all, I am so not a baby person. Give me a toddler a tween and I can be the perfect mom. But babies? Pass the baby please to the maternal-type to my left or right.
What I learned, especially in the NICU, was that I could love another child. But that would not mean that I loved Allie any less. In fact, having Boo made me love Allie more. It made Allie grow up, and not be spoiled (I admit, she was spoiled). It showed me how great a girl Allie was, one who would teach me how to accept Boo for Boo.
Although I am not a “baby” person (trust me, I used to change Allie with gloves on) I sometimes think she is God’s little joke on me. “Oh Kerri, you aren’t comfortable with babies? Have one for 3 years”. But I have risen to the challenge, yes totally patting myself on the back. And have relished in the baby years that passed to quickly with Allie.
And I was right. I do play favorites. Allie is my favorite shopping companion, the one who shares my sarcastic wit, the one I want to talk in an opera voice for a day (yes, we did). Husband is my favorite, start a fire and pour a glass of wine favorite. Bailey is my favorite to go for a walk/run with and Boo? She is my favorite snuggle, the one I could hold all day and not get tired. Boo is my favorite quiet moment, Allie my favorite crazy moment, Husband my favorite 80’s hair band moment. And Bailey my favorite unconditional love moment.
I think it is okay to pay favorites. Because life is never what we plan. Allie planned on the perfect sister, and got it. I planned on having another child that would fit in with our life-plan and got Boo. Bailey just wants someone to pat his head. And husband, well he hopes for more wine & fire nights.
In those intervening years since I first learned I was pregnant with Boo, the well-mannered dog died of old-age. And idiot that I am, I convinced my husband to get a puppy. And life got more complicated. But you know what, I may play favorites but I wouldn’t change a thing.
Maybe just one…..