We all know that you’re not supposed to have a favorite child. In fact, it’s so stigmatized that we’re not even supposed to acknowledge such a thing were a possibility in order to have a productive conversation about it, but there’s no benefit to denying reality, so I’ll be frank: I know it’s “wrong” to have a favorite kid, but mine is Ray from Jerry Maguire.
While your favorite child may change over the months or years, preferring one kid for a period of time is totally natural. Kids are people who change, go through phases, and will inevitably be more or less compatible with you at certain times. That’s another reason why the adorable, bespectacled kid from Jerry Maguire is my reigning fave — he’s always five years old. Just one of the legs up movie kids have over TV and life kids, I guess, and really I don’t think I should have to apologize for feeling that way.
If you grew up with siblings, there were times when you knew one of you was the star child in your parents’ eyes. And honestly, the fact that your parents would have staunchly denied the accusation likely made the manner in which it played out even worse. When we’re in denial it’s impossible to properly address a problem; that’s why it’s a good thing that I’m completely aware of the fact that the Jerry Maguire kid is my favorite, and I’m comfortable with it because he’s the best one. Remember when he’s on the phone with Cuba Gooding Jr.? Ugh. More kids should do stuff like that if they want to be well liked.
What’s really important to remember is that having a favorite child does not mean that you love them more than any others. Like, take my kids, Sophie and Leonard. At the end of the day, they both know in their hearts that I don’t love them any less or any more than I love the kid from Jerry Maguire. I tell them every day.
So let’s stop pretending we don’t have favorites and start admitting that we totally do and for most of us it’s a character from a 1996 sports romantic comedy-drama. Now I’m off to get Sophie and Leonard some wire-frame glasses so we can at least start to level the playing field. I love you, Ray!