This weekend, while my husband took BB#2 to a classmate’s birthday party, BB#1 and I decided to take advantage of this mild-for-November weather and head to the park. Many other families had the same idea, so it wasn’t long before BB#1 had found some of his friends to play with. Now that he’s eight, I can give him space at the park—he doesn’t need me to help him climb or moderate taking turns on the equipment, and I can trust him not to run off into traffic. It’s a different world from taking a toddler or preschooler to the park, and I admit I am enjoying it!
So while he played “grounders” with his buddies, I took the opportunity to get a bit of exercise walking laps around the park. As I made one lap, I noticed he was speaking with a boy from his brother’s class, and as I passed by, I overheard him saying “I’ll introduce you to my friends”, which he proceeded to do. Then as I watched from afar, he explained the game to the boy. His friends didn’t actually look too thrilled to have a four-year-old playing with them, but this didn’t deter BB#1. As I continued to circle, I could see he was making an effort to ensure the boy was included and got to take his turn in the game.
I admit, I got teary-eyed. It’s not that I’m surprised by this—I know he’s a sweet, thoughtful kid. And he’s certainly had a lot of practice being an amazing big brother. But not all sweet, thoughtful kids would invite one of their younger brother’s friends to join them in a game in progress, completely unprompted by a grown-up.
If there is one thing I’ve learned from my oldest, it’s that children are born with personality. So I don’t believe my husband and I can take complete credit for how wonderful he is. But, just maybe, we’re doing something right.