Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday Whirlwind


Today just blew by in a flurry of hurry and I feel like the wind has been stripped from my sails, now that it is the end of the day. It was a good day - just wrapped in activity, sunshine, soccer, friends and Incans.


It was one of those days where I saw the potential of my children to become amazingly good men.


We went to the park to practice soccer, burn off energy and enjoy the beautiful weather. When the soccer drills were done, we walked over to the playground to cool down and chill out. A very small 4 year old boy watched them coming, wide eyed with admiration for the big boys. He watched, completely enamored, as they battled - D'Artagnian and Porthos against the cardinal's guards.

They moved off the playground to the open field, still battling, when the boy joined them and asked to play. D, looking like a 15 year old next to him, put his hand on the boy's shoulder and invited him in. They decided to play some more soccer instead of continuing the hand-to-hand combat, which I thought was very wise. Together, my boys showed the little one the rules - you can't use your hands, kick with the side of the foot, follow through...all the things we had been drilling earlier, I heard them repeat (they DO listen!).

I was so taken with how they played with this boy - a boy half the age of J. They didn't talk down to him, as if he were a baby, but they were very careful of his size and abilities. When he kicked the ball, I heard them call encouragements to him. "Good Job!" "That's it!" "Yes!" When he didn't understand something, or did something they felt was incorrect, they gently walked him through it, demonstrating how to do it correctly and then giving him another turn.

After a while, they all sat down together and talked like old friends. I chatted with the boy's grandfather - a man who had immigrated from the Philippines in 1966. He and his wife moved from California to DC, to be close to their grandchildren and help raise them while their son and his wife work. He was so impressed with the boys and their patience. He was amazed at how closely his grandson listened to them and followed their direction. He said that the boy never listened to the kids his own age like that. There's something about a couple of boys twice your own size that commands respect, I guess.

When we finally left the park, we all smiled at each other and hoped to meet again - the boys were as distressed at parting from the 4 year old as he was at our departure. As we walked away, J looked up at me and said, "Mama! We made a new friend today. His name is Andy." And I was impressed all over again. They didn't just take pity on a 4 year old kid today.

They made a friend of one.