But in actuality, the one in the middle, Jeffrey Mackey, 6, was getting help from his friends.
"Whether your kid has a disability or not, you always worry about them," she said. "With Jeffrey, I worry a little more. I always have."
So when 5-year-old friends Raya Joyce and Kane Raymond saw Jeffrey alone at Thunder Island Park in Fulton recently, appearing to need some help, they each took one of his hands.
"His legs, they, he couldn't really walk and I had to hold his hand up the stairs," Raya said.
Mackey said that when Jeffrey gets cold, his muscles tighten more than normal, making it more difficult for him to walk and keep up.
Jeffrey told WSYR-TV that the gesture had made him feel "happy."
"I needed help," he said.
The two friends stayed by Jeffrey's side the duration of the park visit. The small act of kindness brought his mother some peace and confirmation that there was good in the world.
"It was just affirmation for me that, you know, somebody will always help him," said Mackey, who captured the children on video and posted it to social media.
"I think there's just been so much going on in the world right now, I think people needed to see it. I think they saw three tiny hearts do an amazing thing. And, kids are good. You know, those kids are going to grow up to be good adults and they will always help him. Somebody will always have his back. We have a great community, a great support team, so, I'm a little less worried today," she said.