Friday, June 1, 2007

We Are Family

I took all 3 kids to Roanoke Park today--it's a "mini-park," just a little strip of jungle gym, sandpit, and blacktop between 2 one way streets in Five Points. The kids love it because the blacktop has become a repository for people's cast off ride-on toys: cozy coupes, small bikes and trikes, scooters, even a seen-better-days Power Wheels. It's also known to my boys as "the park where you can pee in the bushes" because there is no bathroom and once--ONCE--I let them go pee inside a big, hollow bush in the corner of the park. The hollow bush was so great, they stayed in there afterward and played "secret fort." Only boys. No qualms at all about playing where they'd just peed.

When we got to Roanoke Park today, they spotted a new ride-on toy, a little toddler car with a push handle. Mitch ran over and called back, "Mommy! A car for Paige! A car for Paige!" He insisted that she ride it, so I buckled her in, and Owen and Mitch took turns pushing her slowly around the blacktop. They got the biggest kick out of seeing her squeal and grin with the excitement of her first ride.

It's amazing to me how much both boys appreciate watching Paige experience new things. They love watching her try to pick up fruit puffs, play her xylophone, sit up on her own. They dote on her completely. It's heartwarming--and probably short lived. I'm sure their adoration will diminish when Paige starts crawling and wrecks a few of their games or snatches their toys. And woe to the baby who knocks over Owen's painstakingly constructed train-track highways and road signs. I hope she's a fast crawler.

Meanwhile, I am enjoying how smitten they are. The minute I put Paige down for a nap, Mitch asks when she is going to wake up, and when he finally does hear her on the monitor, he jumps up from whatever he's doing and gallops back to the crib to see her. By the time I come in, he's usually in the crib with her. Both boys come running any time I have her on the changing table. They race to beat each other to her room, then jockey for a spot where they can see and talk to her.

Today Mitch got down on the floor with Paige while I ate a quick bite of lunch. They were playing peek-a-boo with a blanket, and Mitch was pretending to make Paige disappear. He'd toss the blanket over her, wave his arms and say, in his mysterious magician voice, "Capital Boulevard!" Then he'd yank the blanket off of her, and she'd kick and squeal.

I'm not sure why Mitch was using "Capital Boulevard" (a busy road near our neighborhood) as his magic word, but watching them was magical. My children may evolve into sworn enemies later in their childhoods, but I know that the joy they find in one another now, the bond they are forming, is strong enough to connect them for life.

I may regret those bonds when their father and I are old and the three of them are complaining about us behind our backs, but in the end, I suppose that's what brothers and sisters are for. And hopefully, they will be annoyed enough by John that my name will never come up.

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