I remember as a kid, my brother and I would often ask Mom, "which one of us do you love the most?" Of course, she would always tell us that she loved each of us equally. We were both different in so many ways. For instance, I was a neat freak and my Bro was a complete mess. He would literally walk in the door and and start undressing on his way to his room, leaving a trail of clothing behind him. We shared a room and tiny closet for the majority of our childhood. Half of the room was neatly organized and tidy, while the other side was buried in mounds of toys and clothes. The same was true for the closet as well. To this day, some 30 years later, I still actually have dreams......or maybe nightmares, that I'm in that childhood room digging through clothes trying to find my car keys. Shane's inability to pick up after himself drove my Mom nuts. Though it didn't take away from the love she felt for him, I'm sure, in those moments, she wished the school bus would have dropped him off somewhere else.
Our Mom left my biological father when Shane and I were very young. Years later, my Step Dad came into the picture and when I was 8, along came Stacey, our new baby sister. It didn't take long for us to realize Stacey could do no wrong. She got away with everything. As we got older, we really saw the difference. Our curfew as driving teens, 9:00 pm. Stacey's curfew once she was driving, hell, I'm not really sure there was one. We didn't even have to ask anymore, yep.....Stacey was the favorite child!
Now that I'm a father, I get these same questions from my children. My response is always just the same as the one we had always received. I tell them, "I love each of you exactly the same, because I love each of you unconditionally." My oldest never knew her biological father who was murdered when she was an infant. When I married Emily, I adopted my daughter. My middle child's bio Dad is still around, sends gifts and has spent time with him, but lives out of state and has a family of his own. My youngest is my biological son and my namesake.
I try to treat each of them equally, but when I take a step back and think about it, I'm not sure it's possible. Each of the three are different in many ways and some of them have habits that bother me or act in a way that I don't understand or relate to. I'm sure at times it may appear I'm favoring one or two, more than the other, because I'm getting on to one more often than the others. Obviously little H and I have something between us that I don't have with my other two, but I also have a Father/Daughter bond which I can't have with my boys. My middle son and I are very different, but I feel like I try the hardest with him. I am proud to have each of them call me "Dad", and I am equally proud to call them my sons and daughter.
For those who may be wondering, my bio son, little H, comes home each day, undresses himself and leaves a trail of clothing all the way to the bathroom. The kid is an absolute slob and it drives me crazy!