Empathy

It must be hard being younger than almost all your playmates.  After school every day, Tornado S joins the kindergartners in their games.  He’s younger, smaller, and still talks with a toddler accent.  But none of this stops him from hiding, running, chasing, light saber fighting.

The other day Tornado S came crying to me.  I got down on one knee, balancing Tornado A on the other and held my arm out for a hug.

Me: What’s wrong, Tornado S?

Tornado S: M-m-my friendssssssss w-w-w-won’t playwithme!

Me: I’m so sorry, sweetheart.  Let’s think of something else to play.

Tornado S: N-n-n-no!  I w-w-w-want tobeaJedi!

I gave him another hug and tried to think of something to say.  When S walked out of the classroom, he was being released to his dad.  He came walking over to Tornado S and I.

S: Tornado S.  What’s wrong?

Tornado S: M-m-my friendssssss w-w-w-won’t playwithme!

S: (patting Tornado S on the arm) I have to go with my dad right now, but tomorrow we’ll play Jedis, ok?  Will you play Jedis with me, Tornado S?

Tornado S: (sniffle, wipe away tears and {ewwww} snot)  OK!  That’ll be great!

S: So tomorrow we’ll play Jedi’s!  Bye, Tornado S.  Bye, Tornado E’s Mom!

S ran to his dad; Tornado S ran to play by himself; I was surprised at the empathy five-year-old boys had.

Yesterday as my sons tried to hitch a ride with S and his family (because our car and our house are not nearly as fun), I told S’s mom about the incident.  We awed together, and then I extracted my boys from her car.  As they drove away, S rolled down his window.

S: TORNADO S!  I LOVE YOU!  I WANT YOU TO BE MY BROTHER!

Tornado S: OK!!!!

Isn’t that just like a middle kid?  Already creating his own family.

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5 Responses to “Empathy”

  1. kloppenmum Says:

    What a gorgeous story. Empathy is such an important emotion, and to have it sorted by five is pretty impressive.

  2. Fie Upon This Quiet Life Says:

    That was really sweet of that S kid. 🙂 I’m a middle child, too, and I really did go and create my own family. It ended up being just as f-ed up, though. 🙂

  3. mrs.undomestic Says:

    Aww.. That’s so cute. Wouldn’t it be nice if all kids, and adults, were like S? The world would be such a better place. Glad Sean has such a great ‘big’ friend to make him feel included.

  4. Gibby Says:

    How sweet!!! These are the moments that make a day.

  5. faemom Says:

    kloippenmum~ I know. I hope it doesn’t get brainwashed out of him.
    Fie~ Well, middle children tend to make their own families, but hopefully you love the f-ed up created family.
    Mrs. undomestic~ No kidding. We need to start empathy classes.
    Gibby~ I know! And give us hope.


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