But the women, who had two or more children and were then 65 to 75, surprised the researchers with their willingness, in the great majority of cases, to acknowledge that, yes, there was one child they felt closest to emotionally. That was the child they wanted to care for them if they grew ill or frail.
There is a very interesting bit of research in the Times about which children mothers prefer to care for them in their old age. Basically, there is such a thing as a favorite child, and that’s who mothers want to care for them. These favorite children tend to be daughters, or first or last born (the middle children, which includes people like me, were “substantially underrepresented” in the study. Marsha, Marsha, Marsha, right?). I honestly have no clue whether or not my parents favor me in any way, but I’m already in the process of helping them out financially, so I hope they will at least pretend like I’m their favorite.