Take Time to SMILE

You have forgotten what it is to smile
In your too busy life come, rest awhile.

{Lucy Maud Montgomery}

...gettin' silly...

I smile often. I smile as a greeting to strangers. I smile in agreement when talking with a friend. I smile at the wonderful, creative ideas my kids come up with. I smile at the antics of some of the critters around here. I sometimes even smile at the irony of bad service or frustration bureaucracy.

And I love to laugh. Even more than smiling, laughter lightens the mood of those around me, whether friends or strangers. (You should SEE the looks I get when I laugh out loud at something I’m reading in a coffee shop!) I enjoy getting silly and laughing with my kids, my mom, my friends. And it’s even more fun when they initiate the silliness and trigger my own laughter.

Some parents worry about what their child thinks of them. I take it as a compliment when I’ve said something silly and my oh-so-serious son says with disgust, “MO-om…” Then I know I have done my job well and enriched his life with a laughing moment. After all, “they” say laughter makes you live longer. (Just who are “they”? Dunno…“they” seem to be authorities about many things. But I digress…)

James with the Cheshire Cat Smile

Something I treasured after our son James died a few years ago was all the comments by friends about his smile. So many remembered how his smile lit up the room, how the memory of that smile stayed with them for hours, how he delighted in mischief and in making them smile as well. One commented that James was like a Cheshire Cat—even after he left the room, his smile was still with them. I hope others think of me that way…

The quote at the start of this post was a good reminder to me. It has been a hectic week in every way. Yesterday, I was rushing to get out the door, discussing something with Randy, thinking ahead of everything that needs done over the weekend, and not-quite-looking-forward to being a chaperone for a school trip. Anna came into the room wanting attention for the third time in as many minutes…and I snapped. Neither she nor I had any hint of smiles at that moment.

...playful, colorful SMILE-bringers...

I was too busy. I had forgotten my smile. Fortunately, once we got to the State Fair, our little group took time to enjoy the Chinese Acrobatic Troop. When the bouncing, colorful lions (dogs? dragons?) came on stage, I suddenly found my smile (and my laughter) again.

Maybe I should make a large print of those wonderful critters as a reminder that the more hectic and busy my life gets, the more important it is to SMILE.

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