Sometimes I worry about my littlest man, Luke.
I don't worry about his development or his speech. I don't worry about how much he sleeps or eats. I don't even have to worry about his bathrooms habits (much) anymore since he's been potty trained for almost a year.
What I worry about is his status as the fourth triplet.
Peyton, Sam, and Adah have always had each other. They've never been the only child in their family who is in a new class or in a new situation. And even though sometimes I know they get on one another's nerves, they are happy to be together everywhere they go.
But Luke?? He's got it just a little bit harder. He spends his days playing and running with his brother and sisters. They include him in all of their games and fun and it really is like he is the fourth triplet. They cannot remember a day when he wasn't in their lives and he has always been part of the pack.
So my heart hurts a little bit for him when he sadly watches his entourage, his closest friends, skip into their preschool class or their soccer practice and he is left behind. Sure, he has his own class and practice to go to, but it's just not the same when your three best friends aren't there and you know that they're off having fun, TOGETHER, without you.
I always make sure he has a few extra hugs and he always lingers a little longer by my side before he gets up the courage to head somewhere alone. But, deep down, I know that this is helping him. He is becoming brave and independent, something that you tend to develop a little later in life when you are a multiple.
In fact, he is actually developing character in an area that the triplets haven't explored yet, even though they are older. He is learning to adjust and enter new situations on his own. He is figuring out who he is apart from his family, which is something every child must do. He's learning to forge friendships and relationships at a young age, something that will be invaluable to him for the rest of his life.
The triplets still have a lot to learn when it comes to independence. Yes, they are individuals and have their own unique traits, interests, and friends. BUT, they have always had the assurance of having someone familiar by their sides as they navigate any times of novelty or uncertainty. My prediction is that a certain little boy will soon become the teacher in a couple years when they are finally forced to learn what it's like to be the lone ranger.