I'm really beginning to enjoy our playdates. Miles and Elliot get a chance to play. I get to talk with Eliot's Mommy. It's a nice, relaxing time for all of us. And, occasionally, milestones are reached.
Yesterday, we saw the sparks of a friendship beginning. For the first time, Miles and Elliot began to play together. Not side by side, but in an interactive way. They played peek-a-boo in Elliot's playhouse. They played trains together. They chased each other back and forth across the playroom. In a very simple, and yet very profound way, they played. Together.
And, I must say that I am proud of my son - and of his new friend. We were at Elliot's house, which meant that the boys were both playing with - and this is very important - Elliot's toys. Given that he's a two-year-old, Elliot would sometimes become jealous, and come to take one of his toys away from Miles. Not in a mean-spirited or even hasty way, but in a rather gentle (but firm) way that expressed his ownership, and his discomfort. For his part, Miles never once tried to pull a toy back, never complained, or whined. Instead, he simply looked at Elliot, understanding, in his toddler way, that it was best not to argue this, and handed over the toy. A few minutes later, he would pick up a different toy and begin playing with it. And once or twice, I would swear I caught him glancing at Elliot, as if to ensure that this one was okay. After two or three of these encounters, they seemed to reach some silent toddler agreement, and played peacefully for the remainder of the afternoon.
And I realized, in that moment, that these two boys had managed to solve one of life's most persistent problems - jealousy. And they did it all on their own.