Boys: A Love Story October 13 2014, 6 Comments

The first screams I heard were those of my daughter, who had run to the house to get me.

“Mom! Mom!  G. is hurt!”  Brooks hit him in the head with a stick.  “Mom.  There’s blood everywhere.”   

I followed Fiona to the front yard, in search of the little boy who had been injured.

My eight year-old son Brooks and our neighbor’s son G. became instant friends when we moved to our block last June.  They rode skate boards up and down the street, they sparred with Light Sabers, they built cities out of Lego’s, they played video games on rainy afternoons. They were inseparable.  There was the occasional disagreement over what to play or how to share but one of them would always compromise for the other.   As young as they were, they often knew how to put their friendship above their own wants in that moment. 

I have always admired my son’s respect for friendship and the selfless ways he’s displayed admiration for others.  It’s not unusual for Brooks to select a favorite book or toy out of his own closet to give as a gift.  He is essentially saying, “This toy is important to me, and you are important to me which is why I want you to have it.” 

G. was no longer in our front yard. In following the sounds of voices and cries, we tracked Brooks and G. to our neighbor’s house where G’s father was working on his wound.

G’ injury was not nearly as severe as I had feared.  In play sword fighting, Brooks had knocked G. on the side of the head with a stick and the result was a nasty scrape that had covered a good inch or so in diameter on his scalp, but the gash was not at all deep.  Thank goodness.

By the time we got to the door.  G. was ready to play again. 

Brooks was in tears.

“He’s OK, buddy.  He’s OK,”  I said to my son reassuringly.   To commemorate the end of the scary ordeal, I invited G. over for ice cream.

Back at my house, I took bowls and spoons out of cabinets and handed them to Brooks to set our table.

“Mom, I don’t deserve a Sundae,” Brooks said, as his eyes glazed over once more. “not after what happened.”

“It was an accident . And G’s fine.   No one’s mad at you. “

Brooks took a seat at the table and put his face in his hands.     

“You would never try to hurt anyone,” I say to my son reassuringly.

As much as we caution our children to “be careful,” the most innocent of accidents still happen.  As adults, we can go to great lengths to take into consideration the feelings of others, but we will still occasionally miss the mark.  Although we can control our actions, we can not control how are actions will be received. However, intention counts.

Someone I know recently said to me that she has stopped looking for “good” friends and instead, is committed to trying to become that good friend to others.  

My son inspires me every day to try to be a better friend.

There’s no downside to showing up for life with love to share.

By the way, my son gave in and ate his ice cream.