Exhaustion wraps itself around me like a blanket. For a mere few hours over the past two days I welcomed a newborn and toddler into my home and heart. There are things a mom never forgets: how to warm a bottle, change a diaper, wipe a runny nose, and swaddle a baby. There are things we forget quickly: the exhaustion, frustration of not being able to discern a cry, how hard it is to even find time to go the bathroom, and the intense gratification of a smile.
Photo Credit Raeley.com
The moment the baby first smiled at me – I became a puddle – and it made the early morning babysitting worth every second of lost sleep. I pondered my reaction to The Smile all afternoon. The Smile possessed a magical quality that filled me with warmth. I felt connected.
No matter what I did, I carried The Smile with me. When I bought groceries at the store, I took the memory of The Smile with me. When I did daily mundane tasks (ahem…laundry and dishes), I carried the memory of The Smile with me. When I volunteered at church, I took the memory of The Smile with me. I smiled at the clerk, my family, and the children every chance I could.You know what? They smiled back. The Smile connected us.
When the doorbell rang EARLY this morning, all I could think about was The Smile. The baby was asleep. Yes, I was tempted to wake a sleeping child just to see a smile. But as I said, there are some things you don’t ever forget. One of those is to never wake a sleeping baby… even to see The Smile.
Sometimes we try too hard to connect with people. Sometimes all it takes is a heartfelt smile. Sometimes building bridges is as simple as a smile.
I’m still pondering The Smile. You see, the toddler’s smile was an empty one. An empty smile? Yes, and I’ll tell you all about The Empty Smile tomorrow. But for now, I have the toddler to follow and the baby to cuddle. All while holding The Smile close to my heart.