I’ve been picking up my nephew the past few days and taking him to my mom’s house for the night. He’s a talker, that boy.
The minute we get in the car until we pull into the driveway, he talks.
This could be annoying but he usually has such sweet things to say.
The first day, he told me, “Hey, Tommie. I like playing tag with Livie. She always lets me catch her. Then she chases me and I let her tag me. She makes tag fun.”
He’s a year younger than Olivia. She’s half a foot taller and maybe five pounds heavier so they’re pretty evenly matched. He is definitely stronger, though. I don’t know if that’s a boy thing or a typical vs. 5p- thing. Who cares, right?
One evening last weekend, when Jaxon was spending the night with us, he and Olivia were at the kitchen table, playing school. Olivia was the teacher and she was being quite bossy as she instructed him in the formation of his letters. He finally sighed and said, “I wish I could have another teacher, one who isn’t named Miss Livie!”
When those two are together, they are almost always thinking up some new and inventive way to irritate Alyssa. She often has to lock them out of wherever she might be just to get a little peace.
J and O color together, they run, they crawl under the kitchen table and pretend it’s a cave or they climb into the bathtub and pretend they’re in a spaceship.
I’ve told my brother before how glad I am that his son was born. Not only is he Olivia’s best friend but he’s a pretty great kid all on his own.
He challenges Olivia. He doesn’t know that Olivia has a syndrome. He just sees his “Wibby”. He thinks she’s funny and she finds him to be hysterical. They complement each other in a way that warms my heart.
J walked before Olivia. When he was born, I had a feeling he’d reach most of those sorts of milestones before she did and I was right. But while I thought it would bother me, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it didn’t. She watched him, that tiny little boy, and she learned from him. I could almost see the thought bubble over her head as he walked when he was 13 months and she was 25 months. It said, “Well! If he can do it, so can I!” And four months later, there she went, toddling right after him.
And the challenges haven’t stopped. They’re both in kindergarten this year and while he’s a social butterfly who is teaching her how to make friends, she’s reminding him to sit still and read and practice writing his name.
I hope they continue to be there for each other, to challenge each other to do better, to be better, to just be themselves, not counting chromosomes, not seeing syndromes or ‘normalcy.’ Just loving, because that’s the most be best thing we can do for each other.