My Professional Background - Once upon a time, I wanted to be a motivational speaker. Actually, I was a professional motivational speaker for about 5 years.:
Now that the weather has turned off cold again here in the Great Plains, we have resorted to our usual, indoor play areas around town. Before I had children, I didn’t understand or appreciate the beauty of a place where parents can corral their children like cattle while they sit by the entrance/exit with a cup of coffee and their electronic device of choice. Before I was a mother, those indoor playpens were little more than noisy, filthy Petri dishes that got stuck at the end of the mall near JCPenney and the family bathrooms. Before kids, I avoided these areas like the plague. Now, I RUN to them.

Bring on the E. coli!

Bring on the botulism!

We’ve got a bag full of sanitizing wipes to defeat it.

And—as a side note here—if you’re reading this and happen to be an indoor playground designer, I’d like to request that every play area in the world have only ONE entrance and exit. Not one entrance and one exit, as in two separate places. But the same entrance and exit. This would save all of us that mini heart attack that happens when we find our little ones six stores away with an armful of toys and a debit card.

[Maybe if she’d put down the electronic device, she’d notice that her kids had gone on a shopping spree.]

Anyhow, it was in one such indoor play area that we recently witnessed JJ’s protective instinct as it relates to his little sister.

JJ, the Playground Monitor

Averi was standing in the middle of the play area, and a young boy around 6-years-old approached her. He chatted her up for a few minutes, took her hand, and began to escort Averi over to his side of the Petri dish.

JJ, who witnessed the whole exchange, grabbed his sister’s hand away from the boy, squared up to him and said:

“It’s not you, it’s me. J…J. Is that cool?”

And when he said “J…J,” he traced the letters “J” and “J” in the air with his finger. Like he was giving this 1st grader a lesson in capital letters he would never forget.


And then, so as not to completely destroy any chance of future play area collaboration, he concluded, “Is that cool?”

Or maybe this question was more of a statement like, “If you’re not cool with keeping your hands off my little sister, we can take this over to the shoe cubby and discuss it further. Cool?”

I love this story so much. I love that even though both of my kids are in time out at this very moment for choking each other, JJ will swoop in to protect his little sister from possible, unwanted suitors. I love that his statement, “It’s not you, it’s me,” made absolutely no sense in this context. And, yet, it was completely authoritative and effective.

The little boy walked away empty handed, and JJ led his sister back to the slide. He guided her up the stairs, gave her a gentle push to the bottom, and then immediately followed behind her so he could plant his feet firmly into the side of her face.

And JJ came tumbling after

Sibling love. There’s nothing quite like it.


Comments to "It’s Not You, It’s Me"

  1. Mais D.

    October 29, 2013

    That’s the cutest story ever..!!

  2. Stephanie W

    October 29, 2013

    Mall of GA’s play area has only one way in and out. It is awesome. With a stroller you can totally block it off. 🙂 And this story is super cute too!

  3. Beth

    October 29, 2013

    This was the sweetest ever!!! Love these kids!! Xoxoxo

  4. Karen

    October 30, 2013

    Gah! That is the cutest sweetest sibling love story! Wow–I seriously love how you tell stories with love and humor. I used to feel and now feel the same way about those places! I am all, ok, I know there’s filth, but not too much filth that it stops me from plopping down on the Denny’s-style booth benches with my latte and phone. I’ve done hard core research on finding these places too cause I realized how helpful it was in giving my active guy just enough fun and energy output until it’s time for his nap. Yep, there are always plenty of wet wipes. So glad your two kids have each other–they are adorable!
    Karen recently posted…OctoblurMy Profile

  5. Adrienn

    November 6, 2013

    Ha ha! (that’s all I got…)
    Adrienn recently posted…Wordless WednesdayMy Profile


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