I heard overheard my grandma on the phone today re-living a moment of my forever mom’s life as a little person that is too good not to share. I’m not sure who she was talking to, but my ears perked up at the mention of my mom’s name and I remained a captive audience through the end of the adorable story.
When my mom was a little more than three people years old, she learned she would soon become a big sister. Not knowing much about what that meant, my mom’s biggest fear was that her parents wouldn’t love her as much now that they had to share their love with another little person. She tried her best to mask these feelings, but let’s face it – toddlers aren’t the best at keeping secrets.
But as time went on, her understanding of the word that described her emotions (jealousy) was somehow painted into a much different emotional dimension. My mom heard countless conversations with people who referred to her as if she wasn’t present and actively listening to the conversation. “How is she doing with jealousy?” people asked. “Is she good at sharing?” “Is she getting jealous during all the excitement of planning and preparation?”
Nine months later, when her little sister was born, all concern vanished instantly as she was overcome with emotion. “I’m so jealous,” she said to her baby sister as she stroked her tiny little head with the sincerest look of love in her eyes. The meaning of the word was lost on her three-year-old mind, but she’d heard it so frequently throughout the course of the recent months that she confused it for another word entirely. To her, jealous didn’t mean something negative, but rather was equivalent to joy, happiness and love.
Again, the mind of a little person lights the way to a better, brighter (albeit confused) outlook on life. Optimist or otherwise, t’s no secret to the world that attention is probably one of my favorite things. So much so that I love any and every opportunity to be played with, walked, petted, cuddled with, or any similar activity that provides me the role of being center of attention.
Yet I know in my little doggie heart that someday, if I ever become a big brother to a little person in my forever home, I will be able to abdicate my proverbial attention throne and take on a new role as protector to the newest keeper of wisdom in the house. I know it might be tough at first, just like it was for my mom and her little sister, but I too hope to one day as I look down at the little person and think to myself with nothing by love in my heart how jealous I am.