This post is of the sweet heart of my 6-year-old nephew.
A month or so ago, I was babysitting the two boys with my mom's help. (It is better to stay at least even in the numbers.) Each morning, I would get each boy to school - the older one to elementary school, the younger one to preschool. Then I would head back to the condo where I was staying (not anymore) (another story) and hang out with cat Alex all day. Then I would go pick up the boys from their schools, make dinner, get them to bed, get up the next morning and do the same routine again.
In past long-term babysitting endeavors like this, I had brought Alex to their house with me. But it just seemed to be an easier cat-care solution to leave Alex at the condo during the school week like this, since I would see him each morning once the boys were off to school.
Also in the past, when I was out of town but had left Alex at the condo, my nephews had helped take care of Alex by coming to the condo with one or both of their parents. So the boys were clear that Alex had needs to be met.
Saturday was my last day for babysitting the boys. We were busy talking about their parents getting home, and the events we had planned for the free day.
Suddenly, the 6-year-old stopped in his tracks. He turned to me and anxiously asked, "Who's been taking care of Alex?"
I assured him that Alex was fine, and that I had seen him every day after they both had gone to school. He immediately relaxed, said "oh, okay," and moved on to other things.
It is a vivid image in my mind, however - this child who should have no worries, having such a sense of care for others that he took it upon himself the need to remember the needs of my cat.
He has always had this kind of kind heart.
Even as young as a year old, after the Philadelphia Eagles had lost an important game and I was somewhat despondent (you'd think I would get used to them losing by now), he attempted to cajole and entertain me from his high chair, to get me in a better mood. I remember his mother pointing this out to me. It made the Eagles' loss a non-event, that day. What mattered more was this toddler's awareness of my angst and his desire to change things for the better.
He is a very sweet kid.