The older my daughter gets, the more she loves having friends to play with. It’s always great when she plays with someone just a little older because they act as a leader on how playtime goes.
Since she is still new at this whole “being alive” thing, some structures are still foreign to her. Like the dynamics of a classroom, how to play with friends and how to make sure all the food on her plate goes in her mouth, not down her shirt.
When she plays with kids her own age, they usually just parallel play and only interact every once in a while. But when she is playing with older kids, they are having conversations, creating stories and characters, using their imagination. It’s great to watch. You can see a whole different kind of fun happening, the type of fun you can only have with your pals.
As ridiculous as this may sound, when I watch her play I get a lot of insight as to how far I’ve come in relationships since I was a kid. It takes practice, trial and error, and many broken hearts to become fully appreciative of friendship.
You have many relationships in your life, some last and some don’t, but the truly great ones remain because of hard work. I hear myself telling my daughter “Be nice. Share. Take turns. Listen to your friends. Talk lovingly. Say please and thank you.” and I realize, I also had to learn these things.
They aren’t just inherited, they are lessons taught. And after years of practice we all learn how to get along and forge bonds that make us happy like only a wonderful friend can.