As the oldest sibling in my family, I liked playing with my brother and sister but sometimes (especially when they were very young) wished they were a bit more mature and independent! I see that with Rondel on occasion as he plays with Limerick – Limerick is always very interested in whatever Rondel is doing, and wants to be a part of it with him, but since he’s still pretty little he has a tendency to knock things over, which frustrates Rondel to no end as he’s typically just managed to balance or build or line things up to his liking when Limerick wanders over. It’s hard to watch sometimes, because I want them to learn to play together well and work through their conflicts, and it’s sad to see Limerick pushed away by his big brother when he just wants to play with him, but at the same time I find myself sympathizing with Rondel when he wants to be able to do something without another small person in his space.
When the boys are running around, though, engaging in full-body activities and practicing large motor skills, they’re a lot less likely to have conflict and a lot more likely to really enjoy being together. I think it might be because Limerick is on a more even level with Rondel in this sphere, or because Rondel is moving around and so doesn’t have a “space” or “activity” that Limerick can mess up. So at night we’ll run through the house playing chasing games, and they’ll practically run into each other and not care that they’re touching each other. And playing outside tends to be the best of all:
We took advantage of a warm afternoon to set up the hose out front and the boys spent the whole time – over an hour – playing in close company, watching each other, copying each other, laughing at each other, and generally building up the positive balance in their relationship. It probably helped that (after taking these pictures) I got in on the fun with them… 🙂 I really couldn’t resist!
My hope for them is that they will grow to be each other’s best friends, closest supports, and greatest encouragers – that they will lead each other into crazy situations, help each other grow, and be there for each other when they need a helping hand or a listening ear. And I think that these early years are foundational for creating the closeness and connection that often prove so elusive later in life.