“He’s getting so good!” my eldest exclaimed, hopping ahead of the other boy’s mom , admiring the Heelys on his camp-mate’s wobbly feet.
I remember rolling my eyes a couple days before at the boy trying to balance, hanging onto the check0in desk at the museum while I signed in my 7year-old son for camp.
This boys was about his age and, as it usually goes, was someone we had never seen before, but by the second day of camp Wonder Boy knew all of the names of the kids and greeted them as friends.
“He is so encouraging,” she said to me. I nodded. He definitely always is
My eldest always ends up playing with the little toddlers, cheering on them getting wet in the pool for the first time, his voice climbing innate rise in tone we do intrinsically upon all small creatures.
He is a nurturing soul.
He has been the biggest supporter of his little brother, cheering on all of the milestones, checking on scraped knees before I am in reach. Even as we worked on the biggest milestone of all, potty training, he was willing to walk him into the bathroom and hand him paper along with his parents, grabbing the congratulatory candy in response to a successful trip.
His first day of preschool was already a familiar trip. He had come with me to check out the preschool first, and looked forward to three hours of kids that weren’t me and fun with paint.
He barely said goodbye to me, just a quick hug and a pose in front of the sign. A preschool teacher who had met him immediately introduced him to a quivering lipped boy who’s mom was slowly leaving, torn between being the one to console and the one who needed to break away. Wonder Boy was talking as I walked away, my tuned back feeling both stared at and ignored as I tried to watch with eyes behind my head.
But he didn’t need me, and he already was helping someone else even though he was new at this preschool thing.
He has always pulled others up with him.
He has been the loudest teammate from the bench even as he played half of the innings of some of his teammates. He cheers on every achievement even as he is stuck working through his own challenges and congratulates kids on the other team whether or not he knows them personally.
It’s not something entirely learned, though we have shown him to look in the eyes, stick out a hand for a handshake and introduce himself to strangers.
That assertion is not the same as the empathy he shows in everyday life, nor the zeal of life and enjoying the company of others.
Stay golden, Wonder Boy.