Sunday, August 2, 2009

More than twins: friends

One day several weeks ago, Jonathan took me by the hand and pulled.
"Come on, Mom," he said, leading me toward the room he shares with Matthew. "Come on. Play."
And I did.
This method of manipulation was new to Jonathan and he was thrilled that it had worked.
So, after that first incident, he started pulling me everywhere--to his room, to the basement, to the front door, to the refrigerator. His glee at his successes was irresistible, so I complied whenever possible.
Then, one day, I saw him reach for Matthew's hand.
"Come on, Matty. Jonny's bed. Play," he said.
Matthew appeared stunned for a moment and he would not take Jonathan's hand. But when his brother repeated his request, Matthew followed. Jonathan decided that was good enough. He dropped his hand to his side and simply led the way. They played for almost an hour, jumping on their beds and crashing back down in unison.
That was the day the dynamic began to change.
In the old days (like about two weeks ago), Matthew and Jonathan would go separate ways when freed from their stroller in large play areas. Jonathan, the social one, would seek out an occasional playmate. Matthew preferred to play on his own. Toward the end, when they both grew tired, they would come together and play.
That's how I knew it was almost time to go.
No more.
I first noticed it at the playground last week. After a few minutes of independence, Jonathan sought out Matthew. "Come on, Matty. Come slide," Jonathan said, starting out in the direction of his favorite slide.
Without hesitation, Matthew followed.
And for the rest of our time there, Jonathan led the way.
The same thing happened at the YMCA toddler pool yesterday.
"Come on, Matty. Jump in water."
"Come on Matty. Eat Goldfish (the crackers, not the real thing)."
"Come on. Matty. Swim."
And again at the Children's Museum today.
"Come on, Matty. Tunnel."
"Come on, Matty. Roll balls."
"Come on, Matty. Sand."
Where Jonathan went, Matthew followed and he followed willingly.
I'm sure the day will come (soon) when Matthew tires of being the follower and the two struggle over who gets to lead. But that's okay. The point--the thing that makes me so happy inside--is that Matthew and Jonathan find each other to be worthy playmates outside of the home when there are so many other kids to choose from.
They are become far more than brothers.
Like their older brother and sister who are often inseparable, they are becoming friends.


jay_say said...

lol... my boys actually take turns being the leader... it usually rotates after a month or so. Which is good since one is not always the dominant one.

Anonymous said...

love your blog...your boys will treasure it when they are older