Scary stories from a lovely place
I know we’re not supposed to have favourites as parents. And I totally don’t prefer any of my kids over the others. They are all great and interesting and cute and difficult (not Liam – he is super easy, but that may change).
But, Silas. My firstborn. He and I have a strange relationship. Just like Liam, Silas was also an easy baby, and despite a lot of falling over and banging his head on stuff, he was an easy toddler and an easy little kid. Now that he’s morphing into a bigger little kid he’s not so easy. He rants and raves, demands and disputes, pushes, hits, and of this week can reach the shelf which houses the chocolate biscuits. But, I adore him. He really is my best friend. When I tell him this, he replies with “no, my best friend is Eli.” I’m pretty jealous of this other kid who Silas sees on average maybe once a fortnight, but who has captured his heart.
Silas has helped me understand the first born thing more. As a youngest child myself I’ve always been of the persuasion that the oldest child has the sweetest deal. But now I can totally see that it’s not that simple (don’t tell my sister). In our situation, Silas is the locus of my parental angst. I expect too much of him. It’s not fair at all. But he also gets the best friend status, which the others don’t (they get other cool statuses – no favourites). We didn’t even have that long together before the second guy came along, only a little over a year. But it was a great year, our last in South Africa. Full of sitting in cafes together, visiting neighbours, hanging around university campuses, waiting at government offices, working in the garden, and walking around our neighbourhood. Sometimes Stephen was with us, or a friend, but mostly it was just Silas and I. He’ll always be a lovely reminder of some of the beautiful things about Johannesburg.
At the moment as we battle on in our relationship, one drawn out negotiation at a time, I want to print out this picture and display it by my bed so I can gaze at Silas’ face close to mine, and his hand gripping my neck. That’s a sign of friendship. Best friends forever.