At Camp Du Nord, Big enjoyed his first requited friendship(s). There was a set of twin boys that enjoyed him as much as he enjoyed them.* Their parents told us that each morning they would wake up and exclaim that they wanted to see "[Big"]!
It was there that I realized how lucky we were to have only one boy at a time.
I could not imagine two of Big, joining their heads to create increasingly dangerous challenges for each other.
Those boys (who happen to live quite close to us and so, as a consequence, we are able to see in our post-Du Nord life), plus the addition of Cousin's seven year old boy in our life, has open the "world-of-boydom" to Big who had, heretofore, mainly been exposed, through his sister's friends, our mainly female-spawned neighborhood, his two mothers, and our family's two female cats, girls.
One consequence of his exposure to this new world, is that he has become incredibly silly. He uses silly words, sings silly songs, dances silly dances.
But most of all, his extreme physicality and growing sense of humor has translated into a unique facial intensity that is often hilarious, sometimes maddening, but nearly always surprising.
On one occasion, we were recently visiting my family in Omaha. At one point, I found myself chatting to my cousin and his wife, and their girl, also a three-year-old. She was lovely. Sitting near her parents, enjoying the conversation. Clean.
They asked "Where's [Big]? We'd love to see him again?"
I spent a bit of time locating him (apparently he had been exploring the greater Omaha metropolitan area by this time) and dragging him back into the fold.
He was dirty (sweat, dirt, food, and maybe even a bit of blood), reluctant, resistant, and resentful, his play disrupted by me for something he deemed unimportant: meeting family.
He pointed to their girl "What number is she?"
I interpreted: "She is three, like you!"
Him: "I'm bigger!"
My cousin's wife gave him the slightest encouragement to stand up next to their daughter, and he rushed up, chin held high and on tippy-toes to prove it.
Next was the meeting of my quite elderly aunt who was so lovely to stop and ask about Big.
She: "My husband's name is [Big]! And so was his father's!"
Big literally went, in one split second to having a nice, presentable smile on his face to the meanest, nastiest, scrunched up scowl that I could ever imagine. It was so impossibly bizarre that neither me nor my aunt knew what to do, so we just laughed and sent Mr. Hyde running.
*Until now, he has had only unrequited friendships: either he has really liked someone (like the girl down the street that tolerates him, but WAY prefers Nine, or the younger boy up the street that enjoys him, but who he regularly and loudly exclaims that he "hates" for no reason other than that he is younger and smaller.)