At the beginning of the year, Kent and I had to decide if we should send Nicholas to kindergarten this fall or keep him in preschool for another year.
It was a really hard decision for us. I really felt like Nick could go either way and be just fine. He was probably ready for kindergarten, but I knew he'd also benefit from a year of growing before he started.
In the end, it came down to making it a matter of prayer,
and we felt like we should let him stay back a year.
Since we were guided to this answer, I know many things will come that will show why it was the right choice, but for now,
I'm already so very glad we kept him back. Simply because, over this year,
my kids have become best friends.These two play. All day long. We're talking hours and hours of uninterrupted independent imaginative play. We have other friends, but I don't put much emphasis on playdates or having friends over--these two keep each other occupied and happy just fine on their own.
I love it.
Just yesterday, they played cowboys, doctor, "how to train your dragon," puppies, and some game where they stacked up the couch pillows and shot nerf darts at them then jumped around in a sort of contest.
In the past, they've filled cereal boxes with "treasure" and made pirate maps, put ziplock bags on their feet and pretended they were dust booties and that they were touring the temple open house, made forts, created restaurants, played airplane and trains, robots, dancers....their imaginations are endless.
This is from last week, where they spent nearly an hour using butter knives to slice pretzels.
Their play is anything but clean,
but to me, the mess is so worth it--to see them using their imaginations, being creative, active, and learning to get along. And when they're done playing, they get to learn how to clean up after themselves.
(Admittedly, they're much better at the playing than the cleaning part so far....we're working on it.)
I have no idea what was going on here, but they were happy, so I just let it be.
As they learn how to be best friends, they are also learning how to be kind.
We certainly have our moments where it's not all smiles and cooperation. They're young, and they're siblings. Fights do happen, typically about strange things, like when one of them wants to sing and won't let the other sing along too, or when Ellie starts yelling about Nicholas "looking at me!" and he follows her around the house "looking" just because he knows it bugs her.
Then there's the radio in the car....aiy! Without exception, every time one child says "I like this song, turn it louder!" the other will immediately shout/whine/screech "I don't want this song. Turn it OFF!"
as I help them, teach them that fighting isn't allowed, and encourage them to work it out, they are learning to be kind.
Here Nick is giving Ellie a pep talk about why she should sit still while I put lotion on her chapped cheeks and lips.
When Nicholas is sad, Ellie scours the house to find his panda, Bao Bao, and she'll bring it to him.
They try to make each other laugh when they're upset, they "wrap" presents for each other,
and occasionally, they even make sacrifices in order to make the other happy, like giving the other the last cookie. It makes my mama heart so happy.
I love to see that they love each other.
Nick even created a conveyer belt/machine to slide the presents through, then Ellie was in charge of stacking them and delivering them, setting them in front of each door in the house and knocking.
I'm really hoping that this friendship is something they can keep even as they get older and life gets busier. And for now, I'm grateful Nicholas gets to have one more year of just being home to play before he starts school.