Four years ago today, someone was born who has changed "everything."
My granddaughter, Ess, has changed how I love and how I view love. Oh, sure, I've always loved, but she has given me the focus to understand how it is that I love. And why.
She has changed how I see myself as a parent by allowing me the time to be her grandparent. In return, I have given her the time and patience that I never had while I was "just" a parent.
She has given me a perspective on others that I never had before. Now I can understand that all humans start out wanting to please others as well as themselves, that they never want to do harm to others, and that they all simply want to have a "senselessly joyous" life. She has taught me that all any of us really want is to be seen, noticed, acknowledged, thanked, fed, kept warm, but most of all loved.
Because of her, I have far more compassion and patience for my students, for the man driving 20mph in the 35mph zone, for the woman in the grocery store who keeps getting in my way, and even for screaming children in restaurants. Because of her, ANY crying child makes me hurt inside.
She managed to do all of these things and much more by the time she was a year old, and each year she has reinforced all that she has taught me.
Happy Birthday, Ess! You are a bright light in my life, and the most powerful little soul I've ever known.