My kids are way too nice and timid sometimes, almost to their own detriment. They can end up hurt, and only hope that someone can come to take the hurt away.
The other day, we were at the library, each looking for our own books. Being a more experienced library patron and knowing her brother’s interests pretty well, the Girl often keeps an eye out for books that will interest him. So he was awfully pleased when she brought over a book about dirtbikes and motocross. He took a quick glance through, and said, “Yes, I’ll take this one out.” Then he put it on the table in front of him while he flipped through another book about dinosaurs.
In a short while, along came another little boy about the same age, and without a word, he picked up the book about dirtbikes and brought it over to his awaiting mother at the counter. I had been looking at my own book and didn’t see this happen, only finding out about it when the Boy whispered sadly, “I don’t have my book anymore. That boy took it.” A series of questions followed—Did he take it on purpose? Did he know it was yours? Do you want me to go ask for it back?—but the Boy was too shy to ask for it back. He was okay with the idea of coming back in three weeks and maybe finding that specific book again.
A few minutes later, the Girl came back from her own book-hunting jaunt, and seeing her brother’s sad face, asked what was wrong. We told her, and then she quietly disappeared behind the stacks. When she came back, she had found two new books: one on BMX bikes, and another on monster trucks. Just the right things to cheer him up.
I love that she’s always looking out for her little brother, and seems to have him and his happiness in mind a lot of the time. I hope that he’ll know enough to return the favour one day.