“Kostyn, you wanna swing?” I ask, anticipating the same answer I always get.

“No,” he says, happy to be digging in the sand with a stick or climbing through a wooden maze and over a wobbly bridge. Swings are not his friend. Yet.

“OK,” I say. Then I notice how Evan is sitting straight up in his stroller, eyes wide.

“Evan, you wanna swing?” I say, unbuckling him from the seat and lifting him into the kiddie swing. Instinctively he knows just where to hold on to balance himself.

Kostyn pauses, puts down his stick, and heads over to us.

“Evan’s swingin’!” he says excitedly. Lately every day Evan seems to surprise his big brother with an action that moves him incrementally toward “peer and playmate” in Kostyn’s eyes. He is rarely referred to as “baby” anymore by Kostyn. He is now either “Brother” or “Evan.”

This is good.

“Yeah, Evan likes to swing!” I say, watching Evan’s face light up with every gentle push. I glance at Kostyn, who’s smiling almost as big at his little brother's accomplishment. “Do you want to swing, too?”

“Yes!” he says, his body suddenly vibrating with enthusiasm. So I lift him into a kiddie swing beside his brother. I have to help him figure out where his hands should go, but once he’s holding on the right way and feels safe, he relaxes.

I stand there in front of them, pushing both my sons on a swing set on a random Wednesday afternoon at the playground and I can hardly believe this is my life. These are my boys. I soak in the moment.

Then Evan figures out that if he moves his head and chest he can “help” get the swing moving. So he starts throwing himself forward and back, forward and back, rocking the swing as I keep the momentum going. He squeals and Kostyn looks from Evan to me to Evan.

“Evan and Kostyn are swingin’!” he exclaims, and it hits me with pride that it won’t always be the little brother trotting after his big brother, trying to keep up, to jump higher, to reach farther, to copycat. Sometimes the older one will follow the younger one, stretching in a way he didn’t think was so important until he saw the joy of it on his brother’s face.

“Yep! Evan and Kostyn are swingin’!” I repeat. “Are you having fun?” I ask, seeing the answer before I hear it.

“Yeah!” he says. Evan squeals again.



Heather said...

Dylan likes to swing in our backyard, but you are not allowed to push her!! She will walk her self back and lift up her feet and swing that way.

Too cute!

Heather said...

I love your kids.