They are the best of friends, they are the worst of friends.
Thing #1: I would say that they play and laugh together really fabulously about 70% of the time. The other 30% of the time, Soren is either unnecessarily persecuting Liam or Liam is intentionally irritating his brother. Both scenarios generally end in loud, prolonged wailing from one or both parties.
Thing #2: One morning while I was getting ready for work, Liam's siren-like wail erupted from the boys' room. Apparently he wanted to play with Soren and Soren didn't want to play with him. Violence had ensued. I pulled the injured Liam onto my lap and when he had calmed himself enough to speak, he said, "I hate you, Sowwen." "Well, that's just fine," replied Soren. "I don't particularly like you, either." I stroked Liam's hair for a moment and then said, "It breaks my heart to hear you two talk to each other that way." Soren's face crumpled. "Is that why I feel so bad inside?" he asked, and, crying, ran over to Liam, "I'm sorry, Liam! I'm so sorry! I love you!" The three of us hugged it out for a while.
Thing #3: Soren entertained Liam on an hour-long drive to Darby Canyon by telling him stories in the back seat. There were lots of monsters and dinosaurs and dragons and explosions. Liam was enthralled.
Thing #4: One sunny Saturday morning, three imaginary friends joined us on a walk to the park: Boer (who is kind of a stinker), Blangerine (female), and Isa (Liam's girl) came along. The boys played with them very nicely. And then they disappeared.
Thing #5: While I hid in my room after church (I always have to spend some time decompressing from the social anxiety horror of church), the children played and laughed outside my bedroom door. Pleased that they were playing so well together, I let them be. When I emerged a while later, I discovered that they were creating piles of spittle on the hardwood floor.
Thing #6: One Sunday morning the boys accidentally switched their church pants, leaving Soren wearing pants that stopped mid-calf and sleeves that ended well above his wrists. The boys thought this was hilarious, and giggled drunkenly about it for quite a while.
Thing #7: Soren left for our family reunion in Cedar City a day or two early with Grandpa and Grandpa, leaving Liam temporarily an only child. This is how a phone conversation between the two brothers went:
"I love you, Liam!"
"I wuv you, but I miss you!"
"I miss you too!"
Thing #8: One early morning in New Hampshire the kids barged into the bedroom with something special to show me. "We made up a song!" They proceeded to sing the following song, complete with choreographed hugging and other actions:
We love there chother (each other)
We don't wrestle anymore,
We don't do weird annoying things,
We just do fun weird things.
Thing #9: After school one afternoon, Soren had to tell Liam something very important: "Liam! Guess who comes to my school? Star tutors!" Liam immediately burst into wild laughter. I was flummoxed. What was so funny about star tutors? Then Soren said it again. "Star tutors!" And Liam laughed anew. "Star tutors," I thought to myself. "Star tutors.... Star ...." And then I got it. I couldn't help but giggle a little too.
Thing #10: The ride from the Manchester airport. Two little boys, one pillow on my lap. Their little heads nearly touching while they slept. Streetlights shimmering across their soft hair.
Thing #11: Liam threw up in the night. (He just does that sometimes.) While I was scraping barf off his bed, Soren--apparently grateful for my service to his brother--said, "I love you, Mommy." The next morning, Liam cheerfully recounted, "Last night I throwed up and you cuddled me and Daddy too-- and that's nice!"
Airport Shuttle bus.
Liam's little face beaming with excitement.
Soren's little hand holding onto a pole, bright eyes trying to see everything.
Both boys. Cerulean eyes.
Flanking their handsome daddy.
So little. So precious.
Thing #13: A conversation:
"Oh, Liam, I just love you!"
"I wuv you too, Sowwen."
"We 'besfwends," right, Liam?"
The boys all burritoed up with their friend Adaineh. These three play adorably together. One day they pretended to be baby triplets. Another, they were a queen and knights with special powers.
One Saturday morning Soren kept hollering under my bedroom door. "Mommy! We have a surprise for you!" I felt fairly confident that my pillow was a much better surprise than anything outside my bedroom door, so it took me an hour or so to drag myself out of bed.
When I finally emerged, I found this tray waiting: breakfast in bed for me (there's some Cocoa Pebbles in that brown paper bag), along with love notes from the boys. The "MR" stands for Mommy Rachel.
Chillaxin' in our eternally cluttered front room.
Just three cool dudes hanging out by the movie theater.
These boys were exhausted and ready for bed.
Mother's Day 2014. One happy mama with her two adorable boys.
Note the heart sculpture hand-crafted by Soren.
Twenty-five cent garage sale finds made these kids very happy.
These boys fit very nicely into the scoop of a front-end loader at the fair.
But watch out, children! Soylent Green is people!
Going for a ride on the Daddy Machine.
Soren's first day of second grade.
Soren reading to his brother.