Last Sunday in church my grandson Noah smiled at me. That may not seem like a big deal. It certainly wasn’t the first time that he smiled nor was it the first time that he smiled at me. But it was the first time that he seemed to truly recognize me and that recognition garnered a smile. Of course it’s possible that he gives that same smile to the UPS driver or the cashier at the local market. But for that moment it seemed, to me anyway, that he was thinking, “Hey, that’s my Pawpaw and I love him!” It was sublime.
I thanked God at that moment for his ‘baby smile’. His big sister and his cousin have been smiling (or laughing) at me for some time now. But this is a new chapter in our relationship. I love my grandkids and I love that they love me back! And now Noah is ‘telling’ me that he loves me, too!
Baby smiles are one of the best things that life has to offer. They’re wonderful. They’re sincere. And they’re ‘free of charge’. Who among us hasn’t been completely disarmed by a baby’s smile? How many times have you had a miserable moment/day/week/ only to have it whisked away by the sweet smile of a baby. And if that baby happens to be your grandchild – it’s even better! Trust me.
I know that Charlise and Anna and Noah don’t just smile at me. They have lots of people in their lives that they love. And I’m happy for that. But when they do reserve that one special smile for just for me I feel like the luckiest person on earth.
Baby smiles can’t fix everything. They can’t make the pain and suffering of this world disappear entirely. They can’t stop wars or end hunger or cure illness. But sometimes I wonder…? Could a baby smile be a diplomatic tool? Could a smiling baby breakdown political, societal, and economic barriers? When I’ve had a lousy day sometimes just looking at a picture of my smiling grandkids helps put everything in perspective. Maybe all the United Nations Delegates should be required to wear pictures of their children or grandchildren or nieces or nephews on their lapels. Perhaps the State Department should include photos of heads of states’ children as part of the advance teams’ paperwork. It’s possible some conflicts might be resolved if THE IMPORTANT PEOPLE realized how lucky they were to be parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles. And by securing peace in our world; they could insure continuation of baby smiles for generations. It’s just a thought.
How lucky am I? Just look at Noah’s smile and you’ll know.