“If you smile at me I will understand, cause that is something everybody everywhere does in the same language” – Crosby, Stills, and Nash; Jefferson Airplane, Wooden Ships
Born smiling. That’s what my mother says. I was born smiling. One of my uncles even nicknamed me “Smiley.”
Shortly after I was born, my mother and father stood at the nursery window, gazing lovingly at me. My mother said, “She’s prettier than the others.”
“Excuse me!” Another mother exclaimed. “I think my baby is beautiful.”
My mother laughed. “I meant she’s prettier than my other children when they were newborn.”
After my mother had dressed me in my cute pink going home dress, the nurses paraded me up and down the maternity ward, because, according to my mother, I was a “beautiful baby.” And I smiled.
I told my friend Susan Brown that story and she wrote this poem for my birthday:
Paltry task, believing—
A serving nature
On a darkened planet.
A soft star, glowing
Shyly, truly a Sun.
Under a veil.
Me? All this time?
Shattering the looking glass.
Full Sun unfolding!
Not sure about the “croaking” part, other than it having to do with a vibrating sound, but I appreciate and cherish the poem. Perhaps I was remembering a past life, my first on this planet. It must have been a good one!
I still smile quite a bit. I smile when I’m happy and when I’m nervous. I try to smile even when I feel like crying. A smile can stop a tear right in its track. If you force yourself to smile, or laugh even, you can change a sour mood into a sweet one within seconds. I used to sit at the dinner table when I was a child and say, “I feel like laughing.” Then I would force myself to laugh. Within moments, I was guffawing for real and had my entire family clutching their sides and laughing with me.
I smile at strangers if I should catch their eyes, even though I’ve been warned not to when in a big city or foreign country. I do it anyway. They don’t always smile back, but that’s okay. That’s their prerogative, only they don’t know what they’re missing. Smiling is good for you. People should pass it along, pay it forward.
I’m not necessarily happier than most people, but I do enjoy life. I’m determined to enjoy my life; everyone should be. Wherever I go, I plan on having a good time. Smiling takes the edge off of life. So try smiling more often. Try to make it a habit. It’s good for your soul. And it’s better than frowning. I entered the world that way and I plan to exit with the same expression.