Awesome Dad Plays With His Deployed Neighbor's Son Every. Single. Day.

Dean Cravens with Brian Kelly

Community is more than just a group of people who live near each other and share a street or zip code. It's a mindset that unites persons from all walks of life -- including families -- in the most incredible way. With her husband deployed to Syria, mom Barbara Kelly was surprised when her 5-year-old son and their neighbor developed an unforeseen bond, proving it really does take a village to raise a child.

  • Molly Cravens, the neighbor's 16-year-old daughter, captured the developing father-son bond in a series of photos she shared on Twitter.

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  • As the boy's mom told BuzzFeed News, Brian and neighbor Dean Cravens' relationship developed over a mutual love of yard work.

    "[Brian] loves to do garden work," the Illinois mom revealed in her interview. 

    And the 5-year-old has no problem going to his neighbor's house on the daily to help. "Everywhere [Cravens] turns around there's Brian," she added. "They just developed a friendship and bond."

  • Over time, their friendship continued to grow, with the new duo enjoying friendly bouts of golf, baseball, and other outdoor fun ...

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    "The fact that he started to cling on to my dad is just the sweetest thing," Molly Cravens told BuzzFeed News. "We love having Brian around and love seeing how happy they make each other." 

  • Cravens even made a special trip to Brian's house on Father's Day to ask permission to spend time with the 5-year-old.

    "It was very, very sweet," mom Barbara Kelly told BuzzFeed News. "[Cravens] really thinks and tries to make him feel good. It just means that much more that his father's gone."

  • Cue. Every. Damn. Feel. In. The. World.

  • The Internet can't get enough of these two and have praised Cravens for stepping up to the plate while Brian's dad serves in the air force overseas.

    "God Bless the surrogate father, neighbor. What a big heart great role model," one commenter tweeted to Molly. "My eyes are sweating," joked another.

    Touched by all the love her photos on Twitter received, Cravens's daughter Molly says she appreciates Brian's dad and all the parents who leave their family's side to protect our country. "I wanted to show what Brian's dad and many other brave parents sacrifice for our country," she told BuzzFeed News.

    The bond between Brian and Cravens is beyond heartwarming and shows simple acts of kindness really can make a world of difference to a family.

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