Neighbor Steps In For Little Boy Next Door While His Dad's Deployed

by Julie Scagell
Image via Twitter/Molly Cravens

These unlikely friends will warm your heart

Parents can’t be everything to our children all the time. Sometimes it takes a friend or neighbor to step in and offer their perspective or give of their time to help our kids feel complete. When five-year-old Brian Kelly needed a friend after his dad was deployed earlier this year, he found one in the most convenient of places – with the father of three living next door.

Apparently little Brian loves yard work, which he and his dad, Dan Kelly, did together before he was deployed with the Air Force in May. That’s when his neighbor Dean Craven’s doorbell started to ring.

Image via Twitter

“We moved here the end of July last year,” Brian’s mom, Barbara Kelly, told ABC News. “Their friendship started developing then, but it became very much more so since my husband left. He misses him so much.”

Image via Twitter

“When he sees me with my trimmers, he’d always come over and talk to me about it. He’s a hard worker,” Cravens tells ABC News. “When his dad left, he’d have more time on his hands, and he’d come over and ring the doorbell. He’d ask if I could come out and play. Originally he’d ask to do more yard work, and I thought, ‘Well, let’s do other things too,’ so we play catch, we’ll be shooting the ball, working on my golf swing.”

Brian and Cravens’ friendship just goes to show it really does take a village. There are many people who come into our lives over the years to help raise our kids – friends, extended family, teachers – all providing love and support at different times in life to remind our children how much they’re loved. And also to teach them lessons along the way, like Dean, who’s giving Brian an early lesson in selflessness.

Image via Twitter

Brian’s mom, Barbara Kelly, tells BuzzFeed News she was especially touched when Cravens stopped by on Father’s Day, asking to spend some time with her little boy. Cravens, already the father of three girls, continues to make time for his new friend, and his daughter Molly couldn’t be happier. She shared their story on Twitter and it’s already been liked over 20,000 times.

“It’s really sweet to see how so many people adore them and appreciate the situation,” Molly tells BuzzFeed News. “I didn’t think it would be this popular, but I’m so incredibly happy our story is a hit and touches people’s hearts.”

“Brian knows that no one is going to replace his father,” Kelly tells ABC News. “The bond between a father and son, it’s just unbreakable. If that was me, I would be happy that my child is smiling and has someone to look up to and be there for them until I get back.”

We’re sure when his dad gets back, Brian’s going to be ecstatic. Until then, he has an awesome new friend to spend time with — and a lot of yard work that needs attention while he waits.