had the sweetest moment this weekend with my 18-month-old baby cousin. my aunt and uncle were kicking a tennis ball back and forth and encouraging him to play. I was, as always, silently watching from my wheelchair (I’m not much for athletics anyway lol). he pointed at me while my aunt was holding him. she put him down and my uncle kicked the ball to him. instead of kicking it right back like earlier in the day, he picked up the ball and carried it to me, placing it down very emphatically in front of me. I was worried and anxious that he’d get frustrated when I didn’t kick the ball and become upset because I “refused” to kick it and he obviously wouldn’t understand why. I looked at him for a split second apologetically, expecting him to start fussing or cry when I wouldn’t do what I thought he was asking. but suddenly, he just got behind the ball so that he was in front of me and kicked the ball to my uncle on my behalf.

I teared up. he wasn’t demanding I kick the ball – he was putting it down dramatically to make sure I’d be watching and so I’d know he was helping me with my “turn.” at 18 months old, he not only noticed I was being excluded on his own, but actively brainstormed ways to include me with zero prompting from adults. It was the sweetest and most empathetic gesture towards me in months. I love him so much. my heart is melting.

About C.A. Jacobs

Just another crazy person, masquerading as a writer.
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