Charlie and Daddy

[twitter]I take it back.

Back in the fall of 2012, I made headlines around the world for declaring the unthinkable: I had a favorite child.

From Good Morning America to CNN, from Australia to the UK, my stating of the unstateable made headlines.

It wasn’t that I had a favorite child, I tried to explain at the time, it was more that I had a favorite age. I’m not good with babies and I declared that my older son, at 5, was my favorite because he was “more fun” than my 2 yr old son.

People demanded my children be taken from me, they called me a terrible dad, and they said I would live to regret my post.

I don’t regret it, but I need to add some clarification to it. You see, my favorite child has changed and again it’s because of the age. Charlie has now inched above his brother in the familial pecking order, and it’s all because he’s 5.

Zacharie is now nearly 8. Grade 2 is just about done and he’s picking up a bit of an attitude. He thinks he can do it on his own, but he doesn’t nearly have the skills. Still, there’s a cockiness and confidence and attitude that has me absolutely dreading the teenage years about to come. If I have a hard time swallowing the appetizer, I can’t imagine the taste of the main course.

In the meantime, Charlie has hit that sweet spot where Zacharie was when I wrote that original post; my youngest is now 5.

charlie and zacharie

He’s independent in that he can take a shower, fix a simple breakfast, fold some laundry, and brush his own teeth, but he’s still cute and clingy. He’s small enough to be picked up and cuddled. He laughs spontaneously and is in awe of the impossible. He believes in Santa, and the Easter Bunny and rainbows.

charlie scrabble

When we walk home from school he instinctively reaches for my hand while his brother runs ahead. He sings random songs, invents crazy animals, and will sit at the kitchen table for hours drawing and humming to himself.

charlie beach

He’s perfect. He’s all that I love about children. All soft corners, no rough edges. No cynicism, all possibility. Independent and dependent at the same time. He’s 5.

So I take it back. I don’t have a favorite child, I have a favorite age. And that age is 5 yrs old.

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