The Other One
Let’s face it; none of likes to be the “other” anything. You know what I’m talking about. The other parent or grandparent, the other co-worker, the other friend. At any given time, we might be the favorite, or we might just as easily be the “other” one. It’s more of an insecurity and a way that we think of ourselves, but more than once I have referred to myself, or have heard someone else refer to themselves as – the “other” one.
I like to call my husband the “kid whisperer.” That’s because no matter where we go, the children always run excitedly to meet him. Recently we were on our way to a family outing, and I commented to him about that very thing. He said that I was crazy – that the kids are always just as happy to see me as they are him – and that there was no way that they would run to greet only him. Just as he turned off the engine, you can just imagine what happened – eight little ones running excitedly toward the car yelling, “Uncle Arnie! Uncle Arnie!” I simply giggled and watched his heartwarming interaction with them.
Another time we were on vacation. The door to the back balcony swung open, and all you could hear was belly laughter coming from our young nephew. As soon as our niece heard the sound, she took off running toward the balcony, yelling “I’ll be on the balcony – Uncle Arnie must be out there!” The giggles continued and much fun ensued.
Even though I’ve always been ever-so-slightly jealous of my husband’s Pied Piper qualities, never has it hit me so hard as when our first grandson grew old enough to run toward us and call out our “grandparent” names. (Even the sound of your name is so much sweeter when uttered by a precious grandchild.) The first few times that this happened, he toddled right past me and into my husband’s arms. Now that he’s a little bit older I simply go to see him sometimes all by myself so I can have his undivided attention.
Having three sons in our lives has meant that sometimes we are the “other” set of parents. There are times that in-law time has to trump our family time, simply because of the nature of the closeness between a girl and her family. We totally understand.
All this is to say that I was giving this some thought this week and realized that being the “other” one can actually be a wonderful thing. It’s all in perspective. For even if you are the “other” one, it means that you are still ONE. Even if you are the “other grandparent”, you are an important grandparent. If you’re the other friend, you are still a special friend. If a young lady thinks of you as her “other” mom, what a compliment! She considers you to be family. We’ve all felt these insecurities at times and in different settings in our lives. But the truth is, there are just as many circumstances where you are THE one. The special one. The only one. You.