An "a-ha" moment for Bud last night, when he climbed into the mind of another and empathized!
As I've mentioned previously, I am always working with Bud on "theory of mind" issues: "how does that child feel, and why?" sorts of things. He has gotten very good at identifying another's emotion, but not at understanding another's motivation.
Then, last night we were reading a book called "Ricardo's Day," which is a picture book that walks us through Ricardo's day at school. Ricardo's mom brings him to school and stays in the classroom to get him settled, then leaves for work. We see a very forlorn Ricardo gazing out the window after his mother. Bud spent a long time looking at the picture, then said "Mom, he's sad."
I said, "You're right; he is sad. Why is he sad?" I expected "he's frown," or "he's sad face," or some other statement from Bud's own perspective: "this is what I see that tells me he's sad."
But Bud was quiet for a minute, and I could tell he was struggling to find the right words. Then he said, "He's love her mom."
I just about melted. Forget syntax. Forget the mismatched gender-specific pronouns. My boy has empathy!