Saturday, January 11

The Little Ones

With the most beautiful round face, and full lipped smile, a sweet little girl of 4 years sat on the couch and beamed. It was her big sister’s birthday, and since she adored her big sister, she was excited to be at the party and included in the fun.

This beautiful 4 year old was born with a capacity of love most of us don’t even know. Her genuine glowing happiness was as yet undamaged, unafraid, and innocently secure. She hadn’t to date been shouted at too many times by her dad, ignored and labeled annoying by one of her big sisters, and still untortured by the cruelty of adolescence. Her perfectly beautiful cheery disposition was immense.

”I love you tremendously” one would hear and have to believe from such an honest source. Her affection, her willingness, her ability to be so dear was easy for this innocent child.

As time passed, the shouting father took his toll. The label of “pest” was applied by big sister, and the mean neighborhood girls made her decide church was not the place to go for kindness and love.
The father got meaner, the big sister abandoned her, and she learned people can so easily be assholes.

The beautiful little girl with the full lipped smile became a big girl who learned to adjust and keep her feelings to herself. She found a key to lock up her heart and firmly closed the door to her safe. She learned that alone was preferable to the company of people who are continually disappointing.

One of the most perfectly beautiful children became a sheltering, damaged adult. Everyone disappointed, everyone hurt, everyone was no one to trust with her heart.

Today it’s her birthday. She turns 35, which is so hard to believe when I can recall that beaming big smile of my little sister so easily. I guess she’s a grown-up. Nothing in me accepts 35 in its entirety. I still think of her as little.

I wish I could give her the gift of glowing happiness like she once had. I wish I could change the way life played out; and not been part of the destruction for her capacity to love. I wish the adult me could hug and hold the little her.

What I feel is this:
Whoever you are, whatever your age, cherish the little ones. Shelter their beauty and love as long as possible; protecting it, never shouting at it, or harming it in any way. Love it back, be kind, laugh, smile, and APPRECIATE. Because you can’t give it back, Birthday or no birthday, that’s a gift that can't be given, it can only be not taken.

I love you Jae.

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