I have the coolest little neighbor kids next door.
Nina is 6 now, and she's getting all tall and gangly. The day I started tearing up old sod to plant roses last year, she was over to help, and loved helping me bust up dirt clods and get the rocks out. When a neighbor came by to look at our work, I introduced her as "my friend Nina", and she positively beamed. Later, I heard her talking with one of her little friends, and she said "That's my neighbor Julie. She's my friend."
The other day Brian and I were walking home with the dog and she ran out of her yard to greet us and yelled "HUG!" and gave us both a quick hug before running back to her friends.
Her brother, Tanner is 4. Tanner hugs us when Nina does, but not of his own accord. This past year he went in one fall day as a toddler, and emerged the next spring a little boy.
Earlier this week, I was walking home from the bus after work, when I saw Tanner sitting on the sidewalk several doors up from his house. I asked if he was ok, since he was sitting rather oddly, and he shook his head "no."
By the time I got close enough, I noticed he had fallen and scraped his knee really badly and was bleeding. So, I asked him if I could help him get home, and he didn't say a word, just lifted his arms for me to pick him up.
I picked him up and told him everything would be ok, and that as soon as he got home, his Mommy would make it all better with a Band-Aid and a kiss or two. He snuggled in while I walked him home, and when we got there, I explained the situation to his Mom, and she thanked me for stopping.
I couldn't have done anything else. She probably doesn't know how much I appreciate her little ones. They play in my yard, help me plant flowers, and are part of the sunshine in my day. Of course I would stop to help!