Better Me postKids are messy. Small, mobile ones need constant attention. And yet, they remind you of all the best that life has to offer. I spent some time with my nephew this week, who is 3, and I made some observations:

  • I emphasize my pleases and thank yous so he learns them.
  • I constantly pick up toys off the floor so no one trips on them. The toys on the table, kitchen counter, and couch can stay where they are. That’s perspective.
  • When he arrives, I light up. During my time with him, I remind him that I love him. When he leaves, I let him know how much he’ll be missed. I can’t say these things enough.
  • I hug often.
  • It’s not embarrassing to wear my heart on my sleeve.
  • I sing a silly song in public, and I don’t worry about anyone overhearing it. And don’t get me started on the dancing.
  • I hold my tongue when I get cut off in traffic, reminding my nephew one who saw it that, “It’s okay, we’re sharing the road.”
  • Tiny hurts become my hurts. And they mean the world.
  • Laughter is infectious, and warms the heart.
  • Accomplishments are cause for glory, things like putting on his shoes himself, finding his shoes himself (he takes after his mother), and figuring out how to zip up his hoodie. Life is stopped so we can mark the occasion in celebration.

I’m not a different person around my nephew. I’m just living out loud, absorbing all the good and protecting from the bad. I’m me, supersized.

And I think, simply put, that we’re better people because of these tiny humans.

Jody Brown is the author of Upside Down Kingdom, and is a multi-blogger, poet, and traveler. Her current writing projects, including her daily blog endeavor, #Project365, can be found at