There is the age-old question of, when you are blessed with multiple children, how you love them equally. I most certainly do. I've also learned that, in nearly 25 years (GASP!) of parenting, the love may be equal, but it's different, and it's for different reasons.
When Bonnie and I found out we were expecting for a second time in August, 1991 (almost six months after losing our first pregnancy), we were certainly excited, but decided, due to recent circumstances, to keep the news to ourselves until she was through her first trimester. For years, I had dreamed of having a son, of continuing the Witham name, of having a Robert Edward Witham III.
That dream came true on April 29, 1992. He assumed my nickname of Robbie, causing much confusion at our house in the months leading up to a high school class reunion. Robbie is my high-flyer, my surprisingly deep thinker (on the surface, you wouldn't think he does that), and a survivor. He's gone through much more in his first 25 years than I did in mine, and I'm so incredibly proud of him for his perseverance.
Then came my daughter, Rachel, on my Dad's 65th birthday, February 26, 1997. Our bond is different, forged in the fact that I was her stay-at-home Dad for her first two years and eight months. Time spent together like that creates a union that you can only understand if you do it.
My heart attack, and her response to it in April, 2013, combined with her love of activities in high school at that time that were similar to mine, but not forced or even suggested by me (drama, forensics), galvanized the bond. And it was shortly after all this that I began to identify today's song with my baby girl.
There is a song for Robbie coming much later in the countdown, and it will not make sense for most of you, but it makes perfect sense for me. Today I salute Rachel, who helps me feel fine, whether she's at home or 72.4 miles away in Farmville. :)