Monday, September 24, 2012

You've got a friend in me

I never spent much time worrying about how to help T.J. make and keep friendships; it just came naturally to him.  He was always scheming of ways to spend time at a friend's house or see just how many he could invite to a sleepover at our house (because one friend was never enough).  Tom and I wanted ours to be that house:  we were flexible about last minute plans (even when the twins were newborns), never required much notice for these gatherings, and made sure the pantry was stocked.  Tom was always great about ordering pizza, making those last-minute Publix runs as needed, and boy, would he cook up a breakfast spread (if they woke up before lunch).  I could always be coerced into baking up a batch of cookies as well.....

For Aidan and Andrew, however, I'm constantly thinking about, prompting, correcting, and training them in all areas social.  It's stressful.  I've never before appreciated the importance of friendships, nor understood all the nuances that go into building meaningful relationships until now.  It would be much more stress if not for two very important things....1) Andrew is outgoing and LOVES people-big and small, while Aidan is more reserved, yet better equipped to participate in appropriate interactive play and back-and-forth communication, and 2) the boys' school is such a huge help in this area.  Whether snack time, circle time, playground, table time, or lunch, those teachers continually look for teachable social moments for them.  They write their IEPs specific to each child's needs, strengths, and deficiencies.  They break those milestones down as small as needed; they're just incredible!

Recently, it has become extremely important for my boys to "hang out" with four or five of their classmates after pickup.  We are not "allowed" to leave until they can play chase on the front sidewalk, throw sticks in the little creek bordering MP's property, scare one another from behind the bushes, and show each other their amazing treasure chest prizes they got as rewards at the end of the know, typical stuff!  Us parents watch them in amazement at how far they've come and the challenges that still lay ahead, but it feels great to feel normal--if just for a little while!  These kids love each other so much, we've begun getting them together at local parks on as many Saturdays as possible.  Here's a few pictures from this past Saturday....gotta love this September weather.

Meredy and Andrew--they adore each other!

Aidan and Thomas escaping from the Evil King....

Aidan, Andrew, Thomas, & Braeden still hiding from the Evil King

Anthony, Andrew, Meredy, Braeden, Thomas, and Aidan taking a water break

Love this park!

Aidan and Thomas welcoming a new friend to the tire swing...they did so great introducing themselves and really interacting.  One of my favorite moments of the day!

"What's in your lunch?"  It's really important to know these little details.  Ha!

 What a blessing these kids have been to each other as well as a chance to visit with parents who are working through many of the same things as I am.  My hope and prayer for Aidan and Andrew is that we continue to assist them in fostering meaningful relationships with their peers, to uncover what all makes them unique and special, and help them experience the blessings of friendship as much as possible.  As for myself...I want to be that house again.


  1. OH, Sherry - I'm nearly crying. This is so beautifully written. I will be praying these things for Aiden and Andrew, too. And for you - to have THAT house again! ;).