All too often this is a phrase that is looked upon in a negative light. But I've been observing my kids lately, and I've come to the conclusion that it can also be positive more often than not.
Megan and Jeremy have been the best of friends since day one. In honesty, they haven't had much choice! They haven't spent more than a few hours apart ever, occasionally split up for doctor's visits or trips to the grocery store. But the bond they share is not one of obligation. It's one that can only be shared by siblings. Don't get me wrong, they have their fair share of spats and quarrels. They don't always respect each others' personal space or state of mind as much as I would like. It warms my heart, however, when they sit close together on the couch, heads huddled close to discuss a favorite book and point at pictures. Megan, who tries to be the little mother to Jeremy, will actually put her arm around him and draw his head closer to hers because she has seen him cuddle up with me or Steve, and she wants the same affection from him.
When they play (most of the time, anyway), there is a common sense of purpose. They pull all the food out of the drawer of their play kitchen, haul their kid-size plastic table over from across the living room, and take turns serving each other a "meal." They pretend to eat the (plastic) food they're served, say "please" and "thank you," and then chatter like they're sharing some important information about their day.
Lately they've been drawn to their alphabet blocks even more than ever. Since they've been identifying letters for almost nine months already, they play games by asking each other where a certain letter is. They even give each other a high-five when the letter is located. :)
It's days like those when I sit back and think about everything that we've been through to get to this point. I miss my old job, miss the people I worked with and the responsibilities I had, but NOTHING compares to the satisfaction of knowing that I am raising my kids full-time, and raising them to know the value of love, respect and appreciation for each other and others. Children truly do learn what they live, and it gives me hope that my children will continue to grow into kind, compassionate and generous people.