Saturday, March 24, 2012

On Learning to Have a Friend and Be a Friend

 

Yesterday, we had our first little play date with our dear friends, the Howies since Alaina was born.  We had a great time and I'm glad to start getting back in our routine of weekly visits with our friends (I hope Carrie is, too!).

It's so funny to see how things have changed over the past almost three years.  I admit, and I'm sure Carrie would agree, that there are times when I miss it just being the four of us (well, actually, at that point Ashley and Evy were in Jackson and we "lunched" weekly with our three girls).  I mean, all three of our girls were just blissful little beings at that point, and we could go to a restaurant and talk for hours and all three girls ate, entertained themselves and babbled with each other for the duration of the lunch.  Looking back, I think it was a bit of a modern miracle the way they acted and the ease in which we were able to do things.

But, I'd be lying if I said I didn't love this season of our lives and friendship as much, if not more.  It has been SO neat to watch our older girls truly develop their own very real friendship and yesterday I got my first glimpse of what our boys will one day have.  I say often that one of my favorite parts of parenting is watching my children grow into their own personalities with legitimate likes and dislikes, opinions, and emotions.  And part of that is watching them form relationships outside our family unit.

One thing that I've loved about our friendship with the Howies is that the entire time we've known them, they have been about six months ahead of us in the parenting process.  Aubrey is just a step ahead of AP and Jude is a less than a year older than Graves.  It's a little bittersweet knowing that this time the gap will be a lot bigger, but that's another (long) blog post for another time.

Anyway, yesterday was really fun and for some reason a bit different.  I think when we do things at one of our houses, we see a lot more of the kids' interactions than we do at a restaurant.  For one thing, it was different because, like I said, it was my very first time to see our little boys engaging in even minimal interaction. 

But, it was most fun to watch Aubrey and Ann Peyton.  Aubrey is very much a leader and while I am strongly hesitant, at this point ,to label Ann Peyton a "follower", she does tend to have a less dominant personality.  I am proud of her because she finally will tell Aubrey if she doesn't want to hold hands ;)  But for the most part, she goes along with what Aubrey wants to do.  It's just her nature.  Of course, we'll encourage her to be independent and think for herself, but this has also shown me how extremly important it is that she be sorrounded by children who are Godly infuences.

The girls did have one little tussle.  They were playing a game and Annie got  little scared.  This illustrated something else to me.  This is exactly why, if we don't do formal preschool next year, I really want her in a lot of social situations.  Besides being a bit shy, I can already see (in other instances, not just that day) a bit of a propensity to fear and anxiety.  NOW, it is so important to me not to do anything to quash her tender heart.  I know for me that it is one of my greatest assets, but I also have a good bit of baggage from years of struggling through anxiety after anxiety.  I'm just now, at almost twenty seven, starting to REALLY see it loose it's hold on me.  Just like I am operating in preventive mode and doing everything I can to cut it off at the pass, because I know Graves has a genetic leaning toward ADD, I want to make sure that her fears and anxieties are something I take into consideration. It's something that I want to be sensitive to, but at the same time not something I want to encourage or make into something bigger than they are.  And I don't want to shelter her from opportunities to work through and process things at a very young age.  Yesterday was a good opportunity to hug, talk, and then "brush it off" just like we tell her to do if she trips and falls.

The other funny thing that happened was Annie had a little accident.  Aubrey told Ann Peyton several times "you need to tell you momma if you need to potty".  While Carrie was quick to remind Aubrey she wasn't the boss, I told Carrie later that I thought (and hoped) it was a good glimpse into their future- "you need to tell your momma if someone offers you a drink"; "you need to tell your momma if a boy tries to um, get fresh with you"; "you need to tell your momma if you see someone looking at your paper during a test".

I am so proud of our little girls (and our little guys) and I can't wait to see  how their friendship grows and develops!

1 comment:

The Niemeyer Nest said...

It's crazy to think back to life with just one kid. Why in the world did I think it was so hard? Y'all are so lucky to all have each other. I love my Mommy friends!