My children constantly surprise me. Last month when we were visiting Walt Disney World we splurged and let them play in the carnival arcade at Animal Kingdom where there is Whack-A-Mole, a Ring Toss, and a bunch of other games you pay a buck to play for your chance to win a stuffed animal. Cozette, our youngest at 10, took one of her allotted three passes and headed for the game where you squirt a watergun at a hole and watch a balloon blow up and pop. First one to get theirs to pop wins. She stepped up and toed the line. When it comes to sports competition Cozette’s always been in the shadow of her 12-year-old sister Agatha who is blessed with above average hand-eye coordination, lightning quickness, and a competitive nature that could rattle Mike Tyson. Only, Agatha decided to sit this one out and watch her sister compete against another player. A few seconds later, a boy of about three stepped up. The bell rang and they were off. Despite her wide smile, Cozette looked fiercely determined holding her gun steady as a steam of water flew from the barrel and into a hole in a bullseye a few feet away. Her competition needed help. No literally, the boy’s dad got down and helped him aim his pistol. Cozette’s balloon popped first, of course, and we cheered as the ringmaster handed her a little purple seahorse – which she immediately turned and handed to the little boy she’d just beaten. The boy was elated, and his dad smiled at her with a look that said, “Oh my God I didn’t think kids like you existed anymore.” When I turned to my wife she was crying. It was one of my proudest moments as a parent. And yet, I shouldn’t have been surprised. That’s just her heart. Empathy like hers is something like a superpower.



Jim Mitchem


Nobody Loves No One
Better Man

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.