Yesterday after school I found Caleb curled up by the couch, sobbing so hard he could hardly catch his breath. Alarmed, I gathered him into my arm, rubbed his back, and asked what was wrong.
"I was just imagining what it would be like to not have any parents."
Caleb feels sympathy to such an extent it borders on empathy. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, which usually means you have experienced the same thing. Sympathy is to feel sorrow or pity for another, which usually means you don't have direct experience but can understand their emotions. Caleb does not know what it would be like not to have parents around, but he was going through that experience in his mind with such vivid imagination that I think he was truly feeling that pain.
In him I see a very special gift. During moments like these, I gaze afar off into the future and wonder how these gifts will take shape in his life.