I have no idea why…
Concievably it was that we had so many people and connections in our life then.
Perhaps it was because she was born the fourth child…almost five years younger than her adoring siblings.
It could have been the seven weeks of backpacking through eight European countries while she was six and seven months old.
Or maybe, just maybe McKenna Mae was simply born with a gift. A sincere curiosity and consideration for the people in her life.
She’s a people person and she’d love to meet you.
As families go…we are rather…uhhmmm…conspicuous. The ‘table for eight’ request usually turns a few heads, especially when we travel in height order through the restaurant. We take stores by storm, tag-teaming, dividing and conquering. Walk into a movie or a show and fill an entire row. We can’t help it if people tend to notice us, we acknowledge that we are an unusual sight when we move en masse. For the most part though, we tend to keep to ourselves, we have each other to chat with, to ask opinions of, to hang with.
Except for Mack. She is the brave tentacle we unintentionally send out from our ‘octopus family’ to gather…information, connections and people.
In Thailand, we stayed on a small island off the coast of Krabi. It was over the Christmas week and we were in a teeny ‘resort’. I say that in the loosest of terms, as it was essentially a large family home and several small cabins for rent along the beachfront. We were enough to fill them to capacity, so it was just ‘us’ and ‘them’ for the holidays. Only two people in their family spoke any English. They were very welcoming and treated us to an amazing stay. Although they had children, I think they may have been told not to disturb us because they kept pretty much to themselves. It wasn’t even the second day when we realized Mack had disappeared. Mild panic set in as we explored the waterfront first, then all of the cabins and eventually we went up to the “big house” where our host family lived. Everyone looked a little shocked as we all came tumbling up the hill asking in slow, loud English (because that’s going to be easier for Thai people to understand ) “HAVE YOU SEEN MACKIE?” . Eventually they understood our crazy gesturing, and led us to the back of the house where Mack had made herself completely at home in the children’s bedroom. She had no trouble communicating while playing with their toys and being offered various snacks by their grandmother. The barriers were down and then… we were all family.
During our Nicaraguan adventure last winter we were fortunate enough to volunteer at an after school program for local children in a challenging part of Granada. Everything had been booked online and we knew very little of what was expected of us. After traveling to the outskirts of the city and walking through garbage filled alleyways, through people’s back yards we were ushered into a cramped “classroom”. Once again, we knew little Spanish and their english was very basic. Standing around awkwardly, trying not to take up too much space, we all waited as introductions were made. All except Mack, there she was, gesturing to one of the little girls to move over so she could share her seat and look at her picture. Within moments, she knew names, had them them braid her hair and was drawing the girls a picture. The children at the program were warm and appreciative and we were soon drawn in to their circles, but it was Mack who ventured in first, with no hesitation.
Closer to home, she’s just the same. Newly moved into our neighborhood in Nanaimo, we had been invited out to help prepare the ground across the street for a park development. It was a wonderful opportunity to get out and meet our fellow neighbours. I stayed back for a bit to prepare some food for the picnic lunch we were going to share later on in the day. As I wandered out, I started to introduce myself to people. Everytime I did, the same response followed…” Oh I know, we’ve heard ALL about you…we’ve already met Mackie and she told us everything!” Yeah, I’m sure she did. Yikes…
She genuinely loves people, she wants to know all about them. Not just their names, but what they do, who else is in their family, their pets names, their food likes and dislikes, where they go to school, what sports they play, if they dance or play an instrument…and IF they happen to have a new baby? Look out, she won’t leave them alone. And although she cares for all people, her dedication to those she loves is lifelong. Her big sisters are her absolute heroes and she cleary wants to be just like them. Her two ‘closest-to-her-heart’ friends have been there for most of her life and it is obvious that no time or distance can possibly come between them. For some, she can be a bit overwhelming, intimidating even, but we’ve never been able to curb it. Not that we’ve tried that hard.
You see, although it isn’t obvious…the rest of us are kinda shy at heart. For those of you who know us…don’t laugh! The rest of us aren’t really comfortable putting ourselves out in that conspicuous place. We love to make friends, we’ll get crazy with you once we know you…but we like it when you go first.
Our family needs McKenna Mae. She is our ice-breaker, our guide to the ‘people galaxy’, our personal social convenor. She is the one who confidently takes our hands and unflinchingly pulls us out of our comfort zones.
Mackie, my little spark. Thank-you for being here for the last decade to show us how wonderful and interesting ALL people are. Your smile takes my breath away and your laugh, oh that laugh…there are no words. In such a short time on Earth you have touched so many people, I look forward to seeing what magical things you do with your super power over the next ten years and beyond.
Happy 10th ♥
Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, dreams are forever.