Sometimes I worry about Hugh not having a sibling close in age; in other words, being raised an only child. Big brother, Dowell, is driving around college with tinted windows and sleeping in a hammock he strings up in trees at music festivals while Hugh is learning how to close the velcro on his shoes.

Baby Hugh (in onesie) with neighborhood friends

But since we don’t want another baby, I’m comforted by the fact that Hugh has so many children in his life. He attends a Montessori school all day (8-4) with 11 other toddlers. Our neighborhood is teeming with kids. When we pull into the driveway at 5pm, he runs to join Callie, Jackson, Eli, Lucy or Griffin for an evening of pushing strollers, cars, cement trucks – and each other – up and down the alley.

And although I consider myself on the older side of parenting (having had Hugh at 36), many of my close friends have made similar choices. So I have friends from high school and college and here in Charleston with kids Hugh’s age.

My former college roommate and dear friend since the age of 18 has a son named Jovi that is only months older than Hugh. Although she lives in Asheville, we see each other regularly. This weekend, our boys had a reunion in the sweet mountain town of Saluda.

Jovi and Hugh with matching school buses

Hugh’s loves his buds. Especially ones who show up with two school buses.

While some might consider him being raised an only child, we know that his life is rich with varied relationships: an older brother that he worships, friends that teach him to share and make him laugh until shoulders shake, teachers that care about him, grandparents that spoil him, aunts and uncles that think he can do no wrong, and two moms whose own relationships with new and old friends have deepened and grown as a result.

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