Since Sophie's departure for San Francisco, I have realized how amazing that little booger is at bringing joy into the lives of those around her. It doesn't matter how many times I have seen her respond to inquiries about the location of her belly button; each time she lifts up her shirt to point at it, I bust up laughing. No one else does it quite the same. In fact, just showing her my belly button would be enough to get a laugh out of her.
Now, if for some reason my midriff is showing, no one is there to point and smile at my belly button. Saying dog to those around me when I see one just doesn't have the same effect without Sophie around. No one smiles. Making fun of Chinese accents would probably be offensive if I wasn't at least half Chinese. The big underbite smiles I occasionally flash just get me weird looks. Last month I felt like I was funny. Now I have just realized that Sophie was lending me the spotlight.
It's interesting how little kids are so much better at cheering the sad then we ever could be. Even with my psychology background with the extensive understanding of human nature it gives me (uh... possibly overstated), there's no way that I could light up a room like Sophie can. For Sophie, all it takes is a hearty laugh, a huge smile, a hug or kiss, or even just reaching her arms towards someone, and the recipient of her actions has never seen a brighter day. The more I ponder her ability, the more I recognize I could learn from her simple actions. What's more interesting is the insight that can be found in learning from the recipient of Sophie's love.