Daniel (a son who loves me and calls himself my favorite son, who also posted a hello to me...) wrote me a greeting that reminded me of how all this "You're my favorite, but don't tell the others" got started.
Erma Bombeck was my hero. She was a mother a good bit ahead of me, and had forged the territory of motherhood with bravery and humor. She didn't pretend that every moment of mothering was a perfect moment, and brought a fresh honesty to the honored task of mothering. She made me feel like I wasn't alone. She made me feel like it was okay to be weary, and that it didn't mean I didn't love my husband and children when I had thoughts of running away from home. When she died, I cried with the personal loss. She was a lifeline of perspective for me!
Sometimes her columns was less humorous, and more serious. One of my favorites was the story of a mother who had passed on, and had left a letter for each of her children. Each letter began, "You were always my favorite..." and ended with "but don't tell the others I love you best." I began saying that to my children, privately. I thought it was such a sweet sentiment. I knew they knew I said it to them all, but I hope they all knew I always meant it!
Each of my children and in-love's bring something special to my life. Each has gifts that make our family function well. Each makes my heart light up with joy. Dad and I rejoice so much over our children.
I love you best, but don't tell the others!