Friday, November 18, 2011

To play with the big boys, you have to be a big boy

Unbeknownst to me, Cooper snagged my camera and snapped a few close ups.

I washed dinner dishes in the sink, grateful that for once the house was silent. The boys had all filtered upstairs and were quietly playing together.

How nice, I thought. They're playing so well together.

Then it clicked, They're playing well......what's wrong?

Just then the silence was pierced with giggles and squeals that cropped up from the upstairs bedroom and meandered down the stairs.

Warning bells blared in my head.

I bolted into the boys' room, and spotted two-year-old Collin gripping the railing and dangling from his older brother's top bunk. His feet sliced the air and his face radiated pure joy. Older brother, Connor, sat Indian style directly under his airborne brother. Connor outstretched his arms, anticipating serving as the landing gear for the inevitable plunge.

I cried, "What are you doing? He's only two? He could get hurt."

Then, I snatched my fearless toddler and placed him on the floor.

Both boys scowled at me with a look that said, "Safety's such a downer."

I gave them a swift talking to, and prayed that from now they'd play with two feet firmly planted on the ground.

As I resumed dishes, I thought about how different Collin probably plays from the average two-year-old. As the fourth son of four boys, he learned early: If you want to hang with the big boys, you better play like a big boy. So, he bypassed the baby pools, Sesame Streets, and blocks for deep ends, Star Wars and Legos. While other two year olds skimmed down the slides, he whizzed along on skateboards. While many two year olds soaked in the alphabet, he learned about superheroes.

As much as I'd like Collin to fit that stereotypical toddler mold, I have a greater desire for him to build strong relationships with his older brothers. Building those relationships require gumption and endurance, hopefully common sense too.

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