Who is the best-loved child?

A.S. Byatt in The Children’s Book (2009) answers:

The parents […] found it hard in practice to do what they believed in theory they should do, which was to love all the children equally. A man and a woman with nine or ten, or twelve children spread their love differently from the way in which they might have concentrated on a singleton or two infants. Love depended on the spaces between infants, on the health of the parents, on death, on the chances of which child survived an epidemic or an accident, and which did not. These were families in which the best-loved child had died, and remained the best-loved. There were families in which, apparently, the dead had disappeared without trace, and were not spoken of as realities. There were families in which an unborn child was dreaded and shrunken from, only to become, on emerging alive from blood and danger, the best-loved after all.Β -pp. 29-30


The young desired to be free of the adults, and at the same time were prepared to resent any hint that the adults might desire to be free of them. -p. 227

More from this book.

One thought on “Who is the best-loved child?

  1. How much do you love me?
    100 meters of love?
    33 kilograms of love?
    90 Liters of love?

    If your two children
    Fell into the river
    Which one would you save first?
    Who do you love the most?

    Love cut into pieces
    And in our insecurity
    We want to ask,
    Who do you love more?

    This fatal question…
    We've all heard it asked
    Expecting more Love
    Seeking the most Love

    Love is not like money
    We speak of it as if it were
    In Truth Love is Infinite
    Love has no limits

    We as humans have limits
    We have preferences
    We choose directions
    We limit our time spent

    Love is the ocean
    We see each wave
    Separate from the next
    We choose waves to love

    We fear some waves
    And surf on others…
    In this ocean of waves
    Which one do you love the most?



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