with Lynne and Leslie

Daily Renewal of Faith In Humanity

by SweetMidlife

Happy Saturday! Lynne here!

Sometimes people surprise you by doing the opposite of what you thought they might do, even though that thought was concluded based on previous experience and also sometimes my tendency to think that people aren’t always going to do what they wind up doing, which is a cool thing. Okay, that’s a lot of words.

Let me explain.

It is a sunny Fall day here in Maryland, and the toddler wanted to go to the playground down the street. So I checked the weather, which I am glad that I did, since it was 80 degrees yesterday but turned out to be in the 60’s this morning, and we headed out. As we got to the gate of the park, my son said “Are my friends going to be there?”, by which he meant anyone who happened to be around, since he is at the age where everyone who will return eye contact is his friend. He did meet some new neighbors yesterday, so he could have been thinking of them, but seriously, he is best friends with a lot of people. I told him that I wasn’t sure who was going to be there, and since I didn’t see anyone else when we arrived, I told him that it looked like it was just us for now. And we ran, and he had me chase him up the stairs of the playground equipment and down the slide, then we took a break to play on the plastic bongos, then I had him chase me up and down because fun, but also a way to get in some cardio today. And he tried to clean out the bucket seat of the baby swings that were wet from last night’s rain with dirt, which didn’t clean anything. And then we got into a power struggle about him trying to climb to the top of the climbing wall but not having long-enough legs to get down by himself. That ended in me, from the ground, having to grab his legs and pry him off as he yelled “But I’m big!!!” and gripped the wall. I won, eventually, but not before I said a quick prayer that neither of us fall down or over.

So, as he whined about me taking his freedom and ability to be his best self with my insistence on be a poopie-head, (he didn’t say that exactly, but that is what he meant), we saw three middle-school boys, 2 of whom were in soccer uniforms, come out of a house carrying a foam Ravens football, and walk towards the playground. My son got really excited, because BIG BOYS, and he waved at them, and one said, “Hi!” kind of quietly, and I got nervous. That’s because I could predict what would happen: he would decide that they were his new friends, and he would try to play with them and run in the middle of their game of catch, and they would get annoyed and look at me like “Lady, please get your kid.”, and he would further feel like a “little kid”, which is okay, because he is, but even though they were under no obligation to play with him because they had their own plans, it still isn’t fun to see your kid feel rejection, even if it makes sense. Yes, all of those thoughts ran through my head in about 15 seconds. Just in time for me to be proven wrong.

Because as they walked in the gate, one of the boys said to my son, “Hey, you want to play catch?”, and he looked at them like “For real, though?”, and they tossed him the ball, and he tossed it back. Then began an amazing 5 minutes of them passing the ball back and forth, and them letting him run the ball to the fence and score a touchdown, and high-fives. Then, one of these wonderful guys told A that he could be their ball boy by standing on the sidelines and getting the ball if it went near him while they threw the ball around among the three older friends. It was genius. They still got to play like they planned, and they included my son, who was thrilled. And just when I was figuring out how I was going to get him to come with me when the alarm that i had set on my phone earlier to let me know when it was time to go back home, the dad of one of the boys yelled over that it was time for them to go. And they thanked my son for playing with THEM, and they gave high fives, and they left. He was giddy as he waved to them. And I was crying.

They didn’t have to do that. Not at all. Their plan when they left their house was to use the minutes that they had in the park playing amongst themselves, and they got that done while making my boy feel like welcomed and wonderful, like a big boy. They didn’t have to do that at all. But they did. It seemed like a little thing, but it was everything.

Score one for humanity.

My son, the honorary team member.

My son, the honorary team member, looking for stray footballs.




2 Responses to “Daily Renewal of Faith In Humanity”

  1. niknak411@yahoo.com' Best Friend Nikki says:

    Wow. That is so incredibly sweet. How kind of them to involve him. I wonder if they have younger siblings. I will say that having a ball boy is pretty convenient (don’t have to chase the ball themselves) BUT since a little kid getting the ball actually takes longer than getting it yourself, it’s still a sacrifice. So…yeah. Bravo, big kids. Bravo!!

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