Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Big Guy

He's 4, going on 15, I swear.  

Ben is out in the street playing soccer with 3 other neighborhood boys - ranging from roughly 10-16 years old.  Most days he used to watch them play from his window and occasionally even took his own soccer ball downstairs and kicked it around in the courtyard on his own, but today he actually joined in.  After doing the solo-soccer routine he came in and hemmed and hawed at me for the longest time about opening his bedroom window before he came out with the confession that he wanted to join the big boys.  And then it took even longer to work up to asking me to help him.

But we made it downstairs, past the perfunctory greetings (I love boys' social interactions - "Hi.  Wanna play?"  "Ok.") and Ben was off and running with the big guys.  About 10 minutes later I heard his squeaky little voice say, "I'll be right back guys," and then the big ones calling after him urgently.  

I opened the front door and he came chugging in, blood dripping from a knee.  No tears, nothing.  Ben kicked off his shoes and said, "Mom, I need to put on some band-aids.  Will you get them out for me?"  

We washed the knees, with gnarly Indian anti-bacterial soap and the kid didn't wince or cry even the tiniest bit.  I got out the band-aids and Ben took over.  Opened them, squirted Neosporin and stuck 'em on.  Then he charged right back out there yelling, "Hey Guys!  I'm back!"

Like it was nothing.  Like he was some kind of big guy.

Which, verging on 5, I guess he is.  


Susannah said...

the susan boyle video didn't make me cry, but this did. i showed paul vknids this weekend - where did that baby go?

Anonymous said...

Oh, wow. It's amazing how everything, including getting hurt, just goes out the window when you've got to keep up with the older guys, huh? It's thrilling to watch. And really sad. And kudos to those big boys for letting him join!!

Maggie said...

That's one of the nicest things about living in India - the kids are much more inclusive of all ages and abilities. None of those boys paused at all when Ben asked to play, even though they were playing HARD, competitive big-guy soccer. So sweet!