Whenever I asked my mom which of her 9 kids she loved best, after she would whisper "Jimmy" under her breath, she would reply, "I love you all the same."
Never satisfied with that answer I would press her and she would say something like, "I love you all the same but different."
Now that I have three sons I understand the "different" part.
My love for my kids grows more and more everyday. Maxfield was the first, I have loved him longer. The feelings I have for him are more complex and deeper than that of my other two boys, since I have shared many fatherly firsts with him. Max, as the first son, has taught me more about myself than any other person could. He tries to make me laugh and he often succeeds. I admire Max's intelligence, inquisitive spirit, goofiness, perfectionism and his depth of real empathy and emotion for a six year old. I love him different.
Jackson, the baby of the family, is the soft and cuddly one. His smile lights up a room. His giggles are infectious. The glimmers of his personality that we can see at his young age are heading in the direction of him being a charmer. He is strong willed and he shows hints of his mother's stubbornness. I love him different.
Wyatt Blue is the middle child. When he was the baby he was my youngest and I looked out for him different than I would look out for Max. I already knew what kind of trouble a toddler could or could not get into so I was not as protective. This allowed my love for him to be more relaxed and free. Once Jackson was born I could immediately relate to what Wyatt was going through and what he will go through as a middle child. Wyatt cracks me up without trying. He is naturally funny and is already showing his chops for attention stealing drama and comedy. He has more patience than Max with most situations but his temper goes from cool to white hot real quick when something bothers him. He is caring and carefree. He marches to the beat of his own drummer. I love him different.
Wyatt turns four today. How he came into the world Part 1 part 2 and part 3 and one of my favorite pictures ever is here.
Happy Birthday Wyatt Blue! I love you different.