We have a very nice neighbor, a young man who has custody of his daughter on the weekends. Since his daughter is the same age as my son, he brings her over to play on Sunday afternoons. The kids are still at an age where "playing" consists of chasing each other around the yard, not-so-patiently taking turns on the swing and my son tattling on his friend, always the "self-appointed cop".
My neighbor is great with his daughter, very engaging and interactive with her. When they visit, he plays soccer with my son, pushes them both on the swing and chases them around the tree in our front yard. Yesterday my heart actually ached inside after seeing my neighbor and son together because it was so obvious that my son is yearning for some male bonding. If my neighbor did something with my daughter, like spin her in the air, lift her into the tree, tickle her or push her on the swing, my son asked him to do the same. And my neighbor very nicely complied as he does every week. He knows that my son's father isn't really in the picture much and that my son is craving some male bonding and rough-housing.
When my neighbor got ready to leave, my son called out to him, "bye, love you!" And my neighbor smiled and said, "love you too, buddy!" *oh, my heart*