I had my perfect nephews on Wednesday. They're five and three. Anand and I took them to the park in the afternoon. Then we dealt out hands of gin (the one where you can take the other person's spreads if you can continue the run), and figured we'd hear about it if something went wrong. I didn't hear any shrieking or anything, but I looked around one time and saw the little one sitting across the park on the tire swing. There were two big boys with him, and he was pointing at me to a woman. So I went over to see what was up.
They were very sweet, a woman my age and two boys, maybe eight or nine. Man, if you spend the morning with the five-and-under crowd, eight year olds are practically colleagues. Talking to them is so direct. Anyway, the woman said that my little nephew had hopped up on the tire swing with her boys and was raring to go. But she wasn't going to push a little one as high as her boys wanted to go until she knows it is OK.
There's a hill and wall on the playground we normally go to. The kids take off running on the top of the wall while the hill slopes away until the wall is a three foot drop (which for them is head height). I once saw the three year old run to the end of the wall and jump. At the top of the arc he stretched out, straightening his legs and pointing his toes. Then he landed in a split-foot crouch and kept running, and after that I was all, "Play however you want, Jet Li. You can handle it."
So, lady, thank you for checking. That was super thoughtful, but it is fine. He'll go higher until the chains bounce and then he'd like some spin on that, but thank you for checking. So she pushed Smalls and her boys, and then went to a different swing with one of the older boys and I pushed the two remaining boys higher. Smalls was loving it, and I suddenly realized the older boy was holding on to him too. It was subtle, and I think un-needed, but the eight year old would reach behind his back, or hold my nephew by the wrist. I was so very touched. The kid had a very nice smile, so I wouldn't expect him to be mean or anything. But to see him care for a little boy who jumped on his swing at the park was really more thoughtful and kind than I expect from kids. I keep thinking about it, because the light was all golden and the kids were different races, so it was picturesque, you know. Basically, he made my week.