There are some things that I love more than I can probably adequately describe about having 4 boys. There are a million things I love about it, but some of them just fill up my heart in ways that I don't think anything else could possibly do. One of these things is watching how the boys interact with each other. This probably seems obvious, but if I didn't have four boys, there would be way fewer combinations of brother-to-brother interactions for me to enjoy.
If we had stopped after two kids, I'd have to be content with watching Spencer and Quinn play together. And they really DO play well together. They spend way more time in front of a video game of some variety than I like, but at least they are mostly playing games that force cooperation - or fighting against each other - or at the very least they are in the same room. I suppose that beats playing in completely different ways and never communicating with one another. I choose to look on the bright side and see this video game obsession as a shared interest! I like watching those guys growing closer as they grow older. And their significant differences in personality are a pretty endless source of entertainment. If we only had 2 boys, I know I'd be content and consider myself lucky to have such great kids - and I probably wouldn't have any idea what I was missing out on.
But with 4 of 'em... WOW! I feel like we are blessed to the point of overflowing. (And I'm not just talking about the very very loud noise level that often spills from the house!) Watching the Big Boys (BBs) interact with the Little Boys (LBs) is easily one of the best things I've ever witnessed. And it's even more interesting to me because there are so many distinct and different relationships. (12 of them for all my nerdy friends out there!) Zane and Beck haven't really started to build their relationship much yet, but it's getting there. Lately when I take B into Zane's room at school to pick him up, the littlest dude just giggles with delight. And it's all I can do to hold onto him as he kicks his legs and wiggles wanting to give his littlest big brother a hug. (Really... I'm not exaggerating!)
Quinn deals with Z and B in completely different ways than Spence does. Quinn is more insistent, less patient. In many ways he's a better playmate because he's willing to do little boy stuff more readily than S. (Think playing with toddler toys and watching little kid shows on TV.) In other ways he's more frustrating because he tries to "mother" those boys when they really don't need mothering. I'm sure there are many occasions when Beck would like to tell Quinn to just "back off!" But there are many more occasions when I thank my lucky stars for the Mighty! He's such a good helper and he's always willing to do just about anything I ask him to when we need an extra hand! And no one can get Beckett belly laughing like Quinn can! Quinn and Zane have the most "typical" of brother relationships of all of them. They are totally hot and cold. They are either cracking each other up and totally in tune or they fight like cats and dogs. The other day we went out to eat and while we were trying to order and juggling things getting Beckett settled, Zane and Quinn sat at the end of the table entertaining themselves. We really weren't paying them much attention until a guy from the table next to us stopped by to comment that he imagined those two didn't always get along so well. When we turned to notice what he was talking about it was obvious that the two "middles" were being quite adorable together! They were taking turns filling their cheeks up with air while the other one popped the air out - and then giggling like mad! They really were cute!
Spencer's relationship with the LBs is so very special. It's really changed (for the better) again now that Beck is a little more sturdy and able to crawl (and chase) around the house. Spencer is the quintessential big brother. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Zane and Beckett view Spencer as a demigod! And really, as a mom, I couldn't possibly ask for a better role model. S will often grab one or the other and hoist them up and over a shoulder. (Yes, he regularly hauls them both around! I figure it's a good way to build muscles!) They will squeal with delight - until he puts them down again! He's also the best - hands-down, no contest - wrestler with littler kids. He's been wrestling with smaller kids practically his whole life and he's awesome at it. More patient than you could possibly imagine and so VERY gentle - even when his little wrestling partners are beating the TAR out of him. He just takes it. Never complains. And the LBs adore him for it! (So do I!)
I heard a bit on the radio the other day that made me realize, once again, how lucky my boys are to have each other. (And how lucky I am to have the privilege of watching them grow up together.) The local radio station was doing a piece on high school football and callers could call in and give a "shout out" to a team or player or whatever. One caller wanted to wish his brother (a junior in HS) luck in his football game that evening. The caller was a little boy and was adorable. The radio guy said to the boy "Is your brother your idol??" and the boy, who is in the 4th grade, didn't hesitate when he enthusiastically said "Oh!!! Yeah!!!!" Yep... I know some boys like that!
Have a great weekend everyone! We'll be running from field to field and enjoying football and lacrosse - and each other!
Here are some pictures for you of Spencer and the LBs. One is during a wrestling match with Zane (notice all the football bruises on his arms!!) and the other is from my attempt to take a picture of S before a football game. He insisted that he bring his MINI ME out with him!