A friend put it best the other day when she wrote on her Facebook page, 'My kids are playing together, which shouldn't be miraculous, but it is'. I'm thrilled to announc: my kids are doing that too! And it is a miracle!
Like any other stage of development, this one crept up on me stealth-style as well. One day, they're barely giving each other the time of day and the next, one is pretending to feed the other one, who is pretending to be a dog. Experts said this would happen. My mom said this would happen. Friends assured me someday this would happen. It's happening right now.
And they're not just playing together, they're doing all the things that I hoped someday they would. They're doing big-kid stuff like communicating, sharing, taking turns, listening. My God, I've waited so long for this time to come so that the most wonderful of wonders has happened. I actually find I have something on my hands other than peanut-butter and snot stains: time.
I'm not talking about oodles of time, goodness no. I mean, I can't finally write that novel or take up knitting or anything. We're talking about a few extra minutes a day in which I can sit back and actually enjoy them interacting with each other without having to intervene before some sort of head injury would get inflicted. Sure, now and then I need to play the diplomat and give back whatever it was the other one wasn't ready to share yet, but those times are fewer these days. They're still only two and only four, I know we have a long way to go yet, but the start is there. And it's a damn good start.
There was a time when I was the one who had to pretend to be the dog, but those days are over. Someone more than qualified for the job (and with significantly more energy) has taken my place, and I am thrilled to hand over the responsibility. My son has discovered the joy of being 'wanted' and my daughter has discovered the joy of having another slave around besides me...
Good times just got better.