The Ordinary Moments 31/52 – Playing with the big boys

I thought I knew Ethan pretty well… until Friday, when I met up in Harrogate with a lovely girl that I have known a few years but not really hung out with properly. She has 3 boys who are 8, 6 & 2 and Ethan loved it (as did Megs and I).
WP_20150731_12_37_54_Pro Ethan is the oldest out of the kids on Nath’s side and also the 2nd oldest on mine. He loves to play with his cousins that are mostly boys and only a year or 2 younger. He often gets silly and a little wild, usually egging them on to be mischievous, but always acting the “older” cousin. I often notice when they are together that his voice goes all high and almost patronising as he speaks to them, and recently with the babies he drags them around picks them up and tries to carry them, but in many ways he seems like he is trying to be as responsible as he is able to at 4 yrs old as we remind him he is one of the oldest and needs to be an example. This is pretty much his social life as we mostly hang out with family/his cousins or his little girl pal who is a few weeks older than him that he has adored since he was 1! I like this set up as it means I see my sisters  or sister in law’s for a catch up and as one of them has  also been one of my besties for about the last 10 years its a mint flow that the 3 of us have going on in our social lives. We occasionally meet other friends too which is always fun, but as life gets busy and they’re not as close, its not as frequent as these friendships that they enjoy probably on a weekly basis.
11221469_10153417381548828_9119320816572681204_nI thought at just 4 years old that I could pretty much predict his behaviour now and his responses in certain situations, but on Friday when he was around the older boys I was taken by surprise when I saw a new side to him come out as he played with them in the woods and at the park. It made me so happy to see him playing in a different way with them, winding people up, being more of a joker than usual and oozing with confidence. I don’t know if he was trying to prove how cool he was because he found himself as the youngest in their crew or if he just let go and realised he could just be a cool big boy instead of the “older, more sensible boy”. He climbed trees, provoked a water fight with even older boys and just laughed his head off whilst being extremely mischievous and boyish! He seemed to, despite his age, be a bit of a ring leader and like me, the joker of the group! I realised how good it was for him to have older boys to play with, people to learn from and observe and an opportunity to let go and be a real little boy.
WP_20150731_12_48_39_ProWP_20150731_12_37_48_ProI loved to see him playing this way, but I also realised how much he has grown up recently and how quickly he is changing. It made me a little emotional to wonder if this was a first or something Ive just missed whilst he’s been at pre-school with his mates? I was aware it was a very ordinary moment in a boys life, probably behaviour we will see often now he is growing up, but the biggest emotion was joy to see him being himself and loving his life. I really loved that this Ordinary day out not only meant that I got to know a new friend better and have a lovely afternoon chatting and playing, but also that her invitation meant Ethan had big boy friends and new mates that he was in awe of and wanted to be like, whilst also being true to who he is! It was also nice to see Megsie enjoying the company of a non-cousin boy too…she thought he and his Star wars interest was mint, followed him for a chunk of the day or encouraged him to follow her, and has asked about watching Star wars several times over the weekend…this is an Ordinary moment that Mr Smith isn’t loving so much, but one that was happening all the same. They both can’t wait to break the norm and hang with the big boys again!


  1. mummydaddyme
    August 2, 2015 / 10:29 pm

    Ah this is lovely Mary- and Ethan sounds a little bit like my Mads. She loves playing with older children and bizarrely ends up being the ringleader, plus she is also the joker of everyone too which is very much like me. You must have been very proud to see this side of him and it sounds like a lovely time. x

  2. August 3, 2015 / 8:20 am

    Loved this read Mary. Reminds me so much of how our childrens personalities develop without us noticing. They change so much so quickly, a good reminder to me to take step back once in a while, watch them, listen to them, and keep getting to know them

  3. August 5, 2015 / 9:41 am

    I loved reading this! How lovely that he feels able to play with everyone no matter what their age, I think that’s such a great thing to be able to do! Love that he sounds like such a joker! What a cool dude you have! xx

    • August 6, 2015 / 8:44 pm

      Thank you Chantal, I don’t ever think about their ability to make friends other than I know they are confident with it and inclusive kids, but now you point it out it is pretty cool! Oh and he is cool haha as your little man will be I’m sure x

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