The field has been a busy place with practices and games for soccer and field hockey, and Oliver doesn't discriminate. If there are kids on the field, he wants to go watch. Now, suddenly, all that activity is over. The seasons ended, even the playoffs. The field is empty. Oliver doesn't care. I have to go play soccer with him, assuming someone has left a ball lying around (always), or get a little football out of his backpack and let him make me feel inferior because I can't throw a spiral to save my life. He can. Beauties. He's 4 and already running circles around me.
Today the field was empty again but Oliver didn't care. He found a soccer ball and was perfectly happy. Then all the extended day kids came outside and he was in seventh heaven. A small group of fifth graders has kind of adopted him and they started playing football. All over the field minor skirmishes were breaking out (mostly amongst siblings, I noticed), but none in Oliver's group. They played. And played. And played, for nearly an hour and all I heard was encouragement and laughing.
Some days I have to haul him away crying but today when it was time to go the older kids helped me out. There were fist bumps and high fives, and one seriously grinning kid who can't wait to go back to school tomorrow.