|Brothers, sometimes the best of friends:)|
Seeing the children navigate the world of youth relationships can be wonderful and heartbreaking on the same day. Overall I think being in a big family has made it much easier. The built in play dates, the referees who love the deviants equally, the activities and adventures with built in partners in crime. Still, school and sports teams take a road map, and as lucky as we are to be in a wonderful parochial school and supportive athletic teams, we need to model the importance of relationships, even at a young age.
Markie (5) is already a force to be reckoned with if you step on his buddy's toes. He has gotten in a scuffle or three already in kindergarden but it seems he is the go to man if someone is bugging you. Sheff and I were able to go out to meet some new friends for drinks last night and I noticed Markie was looking pensive. He then went and put on his full baseball uniform, Knights hat and all. He told me "You are getting pretty to go see friends, I am getting dressed for my friends. Mom I just love my team." He still has 3 months before baseball starts up again, but it was a great example of how our need for friendship is so strong, the need to be included and supportive of others, even when you are five.
2012 is off to a great start, we brought in New Years with friends and are prioritizing being social and connected as a couple, and as individuals. I am doing my best to facilitate more play dates (yes Mark seems to be leading in this area, you try saying no to those green eyes) and leading by example on how to have fun, be respectful and loving to the friends we have.
So cheers to all friends new and old, the whole Otis family seems to have hit many the jackpot in the amazing people we know and care about. So bottoms up in the new year be it a cold one or chocolate milk:)