“Me…Only Smaller”

Here I am.  Me…only smaller.  The hands I see today are the same hands that are in this picture.  I have the same feet and the same toes.  My eyes have always been mine.  And although the hands now look more like my mothers than a baby’s, my feet ache sometimes, and my eyes don’t have the cyrstal clear vision that they once had, they are all part and parcel of the same little me that was born almost fifty-five years ago.

I marvel that we all start out so tiny and innocent.  I marvel that our bodies grow and change so much over the years as we evolve into adulthood.  But through all of these changes and alterations, this miraculous evolution,  we are we and I am me, no matter the shape or size.   And when I remember this it helps me to be more tolerant not only of myself but of others.  When I see myself as little me and you as little you, I feel a love swell inside of me.  I feel a tenderness and a compassion that isn’t always there when I’m seeing only the bigger versions of our tiny, sweet little selves.  

I spent a great deal of time in school with Hank, and there I learned that all children have different needs, abilities, and learning styles.  I have often thought of so many adults that I know that if there had been more of an awareness years ago of the special needs of all children, labeled as such or not, they may have learned to navigate their world more smoothly.  But there wasn’t, neither for them or for me.  So when I am challenged by the behavior of another adult,  I find that if I can imagine them as a child I see them differently.  When I view them as someone who may have a different learning style than myself I can be much more patient.  When I see them as having some type of special need that I don’t personally have because I happen to have my own that I’m working with, I can learn from them.   And the biggest surprise of all?  I may even find myself liking them.

When Hank was little we loved to watch Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.  I found the show fascinating.  Etched in my mind is an episode whereby Fred was interviewing a young girl who used a wheelchair.  “So tell me,” he said, “what’s it like to have a disability that people can see?”  

My beautiful son Hank has a disability that people can see, but I think so many of us have disabilities that people cannot see…at least not at first glance.  So when I am overly critical of myself when some of my ‘issues’ surface, I try to remember the little girl at the top of this page.  And when I find myself impatient or intolerant of others, I picture them as their smaller selves and feel a shift to a kinder and gentler me.

So I suppose I’m offering this little trick of mine to you.  Give it a try if you like and see what happens.  You might discover that imagining people as the children that we all once were can put a very interesting and pleasant spin on things.  And why not imagine yourself as ‘you…only smaller?’  Why not pinch your chubby cheeks and picture yourself in all of your tiny cuteness and glory?  What have you got to lose Little You? What have you got to lose?

 

 

 

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Debbie March 24, 2013 at 3:31 pm

good advice, we all started innocent and small. Disable is word that can have a varied meaning–those disabilities of the mind are not always so obvious

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Sherry April 5, 2013 at 1:41 am

What a beautiful and thoughtful blog…

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admin April 6, 2013 at 12:17 am

Thank you Sherry!

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