Self-portrait in the bathroom, December 30, 2018.

Spent the day with family. Two babies. Beren played with my cousins and then turned his attention to these little creatures, six and fourteen months. They were attentive to his leaping, running, and goofing. My six month old niece’s legs and arms went taut with excitement as she watched him. He encouraged my cousin’s fourteen month old, “Try to get me!” in a high pitched voice, coming closer as he gauged her ability to catch him.

In preparation, we read a book about babies. “I don’t play with babies,” he said. “Babies are weird.” “They certainly are different than big kids,” I said.

I was really warmed to see the way he interacted, finding ways to have fun with them and considering their abilities. I was reminded of a favorite book, Free to Learn by Peter Gray who discusses how mixed aged groups of children are so important and are often self-regulating. Beautiful and true.