Which is the inability to give less. Even - and especially - to strangers.
So today is about honoring my cousins' Crazy Aunt Mary Kay, my mother who still lives in The 1960's in many ways. It sounds pretty silly but here's how you might know if you are following in her Peterhood Legacy:
- You have a quick flaring temper like a hot poker. Especially when fighting for the little guy.
- You aren't vain enough to feel too embarrassed about anything. You'll do anything so others can have a good time.
- You're a golden-hearted, black-fisted, honey badger of a fightin' Hufflepuff.
- You love to dance, especially TAP! Even if you're the only adult in a group of kids doing a step dance you don't know the moves to.
- In general, you fit in with little kids more than grown-ups.
- Many people don't take you seriously but that's why Taylor Swift wrote that song - it was for you, you're a professional at shaking and shrugging them off.
- You have zero poker face. Like, none. When someone is crying or very angry, you are still one step away from bursting out in laughter.
- You might be called dramatic, unhinged or theatrical but you don't care. Someone has to bring the spice and sprinkles. People would have no fun without you.
- Reverent is not your middle name. Keeping it together and faking it just aren't on your list of many talents.
- You like to stay up late and get up late. Life is a party and if you're not having fun it's your own damn fault.
- You struggle to believe you're special because you are too busy seeing the magic in everybody else.
- You buy something cool and keep it for less than a day because you're so excited, you give it away. (You know where to go buy another one if you need it.)
- The joy in having anything is giving it away. Nothing makes your heart flutter like an empty bowl of food you made and the happy bellies that are to blame.
- The only thing that makes you sad is not being enough to make someone else happy, to work so hard for someone to believe in themselves but they just don't get it. Life is a sparkly, confetti-filled party worthy of matching napkins and expensive dessert. And God says we are all worth it. What is there to be sad about?
You are the fruit loop in a bowl of Cheerio's, the one who always colors outside the lines, the kid ten steps behind or the first kid to go visit Santa. You are brave enough to never give up your imagination and just don't have time for anything boring.
You're everyone's favorite, and yet at the end of the day, I wonder who fills your cup, when you are so busy filling everyone else's with glittery wonder. My mother's mission is to be a kid, take care of kids and know that everyone - deep down - is still just a kid. She lives an eternal childhood and the only dark side is the people who are jealous, who have forgotten, unlike her, where they come from. Days of playing outside till the street lights came on, getting in trouble by parents closeby, surrounded by people who care and were there. A childhood you could count on.
Giving kids that special treatment like they're Orphan Annie at Daddy Warbucks' house, that's what my mom taught me to do. When she heard they were keeping Harry in a cupboard under the stairs, she cried. And she knew. Every kid is worth it. Even just one kid is worth it.
So never, ever, ever give up.
And never grow up, either.