Owen has always loved hanging out with kids older than him. On his end of year evaluation last year, his teachers from school wrote that he often spends his lunches chattering with the teachers (making them laugh with story after story, since the little motor mouth never stops talking) more than with his peers. When he was younger I think it had to do with the fact that he was so verbal so early, and many of his peers didn’t talk back at the same level when he talked to them. Even now when he plays with kids who are not as talkative, he’ll come to me and say things like “she’s not answering me”. The kid likes feedback. And conversation. And he will talk you under the table if you don’t pipe up. And don’t you DARE try to have an adult conversation without including him. It will backfire. Big time.
Anyway, talking aside, he has always been drawn to older kids. On the playground I love to watch him insert himself into the games other kids are playing (except when they exclude him, like this time) and how he strikes up a conversation with just about anyone. He fearlessly tries to do exactly what the older kids are doing, even if he’s way too small to do it. He’ll follow the big kids around like a puppy dog, doing anything to get their attention.
Last weekend we spent a lovely fall afternoon hanging out in our neighbor’s backyard for their annual Oktoberfest party (we went last year as well). Our neighbor’s brother comes every year and has two boys (7 and 5 years old) who are pretty much the quintessential wild brothers who wrestle each other to the ground and beat each other up constantly. While last year Owen was a bit too little to join their shenanigans, this year he was the perfect age to jump right in.
The unofficial 3rd brother.
At first I think they were hesitant about him joining in (he didn’t know how to play soccer, for instance, and just wanted to kick the ball when they were actually trying to play), but soon enough they were all three wrestling each other to the ground.
It was like Benjamin and I were seeing our future. Two rough boys punching each other in the face over and over and over again and laughing hysterically, egging each other on.
Benjamin was squirming on the sidelines and kept calling out useless things like, “Be careful!”, whereas I was laughing and letting the boys be boys. Can you tell he didn’t have a brother? I think he’d better get used to it.
As is generally the case when you let kids figure things out on their own and interfere as little as possible, despite how rough they were being there were no tears or hurt feelings. Just a lot of pushing and shoving and pile-ups and a whole lot of smiling.
I loved it. I am not wishing away these sweet baby months, but I do like the looks of what a few years will bring. Brothers. Being brothers. Entertaining each other. Smacking each other one minute and sticking up for each other the next. Partners in crime. Rough on the outside, sweet on the inside.
This year, though, Emmett spent his Oktoberfest doing this:
Give him another couple years and he’ll be out there wrestling with the best of ’em, I’m sure.