I saw it.
A struggle. Two little hands desperately clinging to the coveted toy. In slow motion, one boy raised his arm and clocked the other boy in the face. Then the puncher boy's head dropped down to the hand holding the toy, teeth poised, ready to bite. But the surprise and shock of getting a right hook to the face made the other contender drop his hands from the toy. Just in time to save them from those pearly teeth, seconds and centimeters away from chomping down.
There was a look of surprise, followed by shock. And then the pain registered and the tears appeared. Then a flash of blond shot into my arms.
Yes, the child who was punched was my own sweet Keith. He cried in my arms for a while, and may not ever want to play with that boy again. I did explain to him that he was being mean taking the other boy's toy, but it is never okay to hit someone.
Preschool can be hard.
After a while, Keith warmed up again, left the protective cover of my lap and went back to play with other kids.
I had to leave early yesterday. I couldn't find a sitter for Faye. I gave Keith a hug, and went home to my girl. When we went back to pick up Keith, one of the mothers pulled me aside and told me her little girl absolutely adores Keith. She showed me a picture of Keith sitting on the floor. The little girl was right behind him, hugging him. It was very cute. Evidently she is mostly excited for preschool to see Keith.
Another mother told me that her daughter just loves Keith, and only wants to play with him.
Another mother told me that there were about four girls fighting with each other over who got to sit by him at lunch. When I asked him about it, he said it made him sad. He didn't like that they were fighting. But he did like that they all wanted to sit by him.
Preschool can be wonderful!
On the drive home, he asked why the kids like him. I explained that it was because he was so good to all of them. He didn't hit, or not share, or say mean things, and people like to be around other people like that.
It thrills me that he is so loved and has so many friends at school. I do know that several of the boys seek him out to play, as well. Jeffrey thinks he is so popular because he is so imaginative. I think it is because he is so good, and has a talent for connecting to and relating with people.
But good heavens, I am proud of that boy.