Mal is 11 months now (today in fact) and the boys are hitting a stage for the first time where they will run off and play together. I mean, they always played, they would wrestle and hug and tickle with mommy supervision, but it was always Zeke playing with the baby. The last few weeks have been the first time they have really played together as equals and friends.
Let me tell you, it makes showering around here a whole lot easier.
Brotherhood is just such a funny dynamic. It's very different then sisterhood. Different then friendship. They love each other, and they are merciless with each other. And watching their relationship develop has been a true joy. I've always been a bit of a believer in the influence of age order on people's personalities (the fact that before Malachi we were a family of first-borns always seemed a bit telling to me, for example) but Malachi and Zeke seem to defy all the rules with each other.
Zekey is so phlegmatic, so passive and so slow to act (or react) that Malachi has really taken charge between the two of them. Mal is of course too small for much of his personality to be set but I think he might be the first loud Clark. We are many things, us Clarks, but loud isn't really one of them. We are a decidedly understated family, soft spoken and not much for forcing our own way.
Mal seems to have more personality then the other three of us put together.
So Mal may be the little brother, but he is quickly becoming the brother in charge. 90% of their games are Mal-invented games and without fail every time I leave them in the toy room playing their separate activities, when I come back Zeke has joined Malachi.
I read somewhere once that your siblings will be the people with you for the longest. Friends can come and go and even parents will die, but your siblings will always be there. The person that knows you the longest is almost always your sibling.
I'm so glad they have each other.