Dear Boy At The Park,
Yesterday we had a lovely afternoon at Wicksteed Park with our friends. Ted decided to play on the climbing frames and despite being a bit wary (they were big climbing frames) we let him go off to play.
He was feeling brave, braver than I have seen him before and I have noticed his confidence is growing in spades. He decided to go down the 'big dark slide' and his pride when he mastered it was wonderful to see. He was having so much fun.
Feeling braver still he attempted the rope tunnel, the one with lots of square holes in and his little foot slipped through. He giggled as his shoe fell off and I watched him struggle for a few seconds before I stepped in to help. Putting his foot back through the hole and his shoe on I looked up to see a queue of children behind him. One of which was you. A child of 8 or 9 standing patiently. Watching me. Watching Ted and smiling. "Sorry his shoe fell off!" I said, letting you know we wouldn't be long.
Much to my surprise instead of turning and going to play on something else or clambering past him as I would have expected, you smiled again. "It is ok, I still do that sometimes too". You reassured Ted that it was ok, even bigger boys struggle sometimes.
I popped Teddy's shoe back on and was shocked again to hear such kind words from another child "Would you like me to help him?". Of course I told you that would be a lovely thing to do, it made me less anxious knowing he had some assistance up on those big frames and I took a step back and watched you both play.
I watched as Ted looked up to you, taking in each step you made and copying to keep himself on track. As you cheered him on from the side and clapped as he came down the "big dark slide" again and again. As you led him to another frame I followed to see how he tackled it and when he couldn't manage it because of his small legs you moved to a different one, despite clearly wanting to play on that one yourself.
You showed him how to climb down the tyre ladder and accepted when he wasn't brave enough to try himself. You listened when I used his name and called him it too building his trust. You were a leader and he listened. "Mummy, he knows my name!" Ted whispered to me. An beautiful smile filling his face.
When it was time for you to go you waited for him at the bottom of the slide to say goodbye and off you ran. I couldn't see your parents until you were out of the park but I wish I had seen them. I wish I could have told them what a special child you are. Because yesterday you helped Ted, you helped him see kindness in the world.
My son that often is hurt by other children, smacked or pushed in parks and soft plays but never hits back. The boy who cries to me rather than retaliates and questions "why do my friends always hurt me when they play?".
You showed him that not all children are boisterous, not all children are hurtful or aggressive. Some children are kind and it is cool to be kind.
I hope your parents know how special you are and may you continue to be kind-hearted.
This Grateful Mumma