I hesitated for the briefest of moments when I saw Lukas dash toward the boy. I suppose it was just natural human reaction that caused me to pause. I immediately realized, with a smile, that I shouldn't have.
We were in our community square at a Halloween festival and Lukas, in his Ninja costume, was excitedly going from business to business trick or treating for candy. More than candy, the experience was a social event for him as he also begged the proprietors to "smell my feet...." before breaking into genuine laughter.
There were also an impressively large gathering of other Ninja's milling about as well, and our son wanted to great each and every one of them, brothers that they were, with a "Hello Ninja!!" He was more often greeted with a cold shoulder. I assured him that those Ninja's, if they really were Ninja's, were probably "on a secret mission for candy." and couldn't talk.
Despite his focus on making friends there was candy to be had, and Lukas' bowl had gathered a decent store of candy as his grandfather and I walked with him towards the end of the business loop.
And that is when I, turning, saw Lukas dashing towards the boy who was perhaps 4 years old and accompanied by his parents. The boy, who was dressed like a pirate, had just lost his bowl of candy which went scattering onto the ground amongst a group of people.
I'll admit that my first thought was that Lukas was going to start filling his pumpkin with this boy's hard earned candy. I'm not sure why I thought that. I absolutely know better than that by now.
Instead of filling his own bowl, my empathetic boy quickly gathered up all the candy he could, and to the surprise of most of the adults there started dumping it back into the little pirates bowl. Seeing this I felt a dash of pride as my own father looked on.
As I said this shouldn't surprise me. Lukas is an extremely empathetic boy with a heart the size of the Moon. Over and over again he is the first to respond when another child is hurt, emotionally or physically. For instance, at a recent soccer match there was a girl on the opposite team who was at least a year older than he is, who had earlier scored a goal against his team.
Those are the kinds of act of empathy and kindness that we see often from Lukas. Of course, that's when he isn't being a silly, social, and loving 6 year old boy. Those are the traits, in part, which Mrs. LIAYF and I recognized in him that convinced us that he would be an excellent sibling, and that any child would be blessed to have him as an older brother. We were spot on in that assessment too, as he continues to be such a terrific brother to Annabelle.
So, again, I am not sure what led me to hesitate when I saw my son rush towards another boy whose candy had spilled out onto the ground. But afterwards I felt a bit silly for doing so.
Especially after he, seeing that the other boy who was sad because he had lost one sole piece of candy to another child in the incident, then dug through his own bucket, found his own favorite treat, and deposited it in the Pirate's bowl. All without one bit of prompting. I just rubbed his head afterwards and emphasized to him what a kind boy he was. It was one of those nice parenting moments you don't soon forget.
Witnessing such moments, Mrs. LIAYF and I would love to take the credit as a parents. Of course we've had had influence on who he is, but the reality is that Lukas is his own person now. And that person is continues to be a good-hearted person.
I'm proud of him for that.