Smile Like a Baby

As of the moment I’m writing this, our first grandbaby’s due date has come… and gone. And my daughter is still (very) pregnant.  In fact, she and Paul attended the out-of-town wedding for Kelly’s med-school roommate on her due date.  Until the baby arrives, life remains normal….
Babies don’t pay much attention to deadlines and schedules, do they? Yet they hold a great deal of wisdom about life.  A couple months ago we saw the documentary, Babies, at the movie theater, and were struck by how much babies smile.  A lot.  From very early on.

And then I think about all the adults I work with, and how I actually TEACH the concept of smiling. Smiling appears to be a universal response – regardless of culture, language, social status, or environment, babies naturally smile.  They “get” that a smile is a way to create a positive response in other people.  Smiles attract positive attention.  Smiles get them hugs and kisses.  Smiles change the people around them.
Babies are very wise, I assess. We all know the story after that.  Sometime in childhood, children start to absorb the message that smiling all the time is not acceptable.  And so this universally positive and natural behavior is slowly extinguished, until the adult emerges with a “serious” face as their normal expression.  And they learn that WHEN they show up — in the right place at the right time, keeping to the schedule — is more important than HOW they show up.  Then they must re-learn how to use smiles as a tool to change the environment.
Whenever this baby arrives, I’m looking forward to “re-learning” the natural ability to be happy…and once again enjoy letting go of the need to stay on schedule.

3 thoughts on “Smile Like a Baby”

  1. Oh yeah… I relished the sweet pleasure of balancing a 14 month old
    on my hip at a contra dance Saturday night. She was delightful, all smiles and big brown eyed curiosity. I look forward to seeing a few pics and learning about your newest family member, when he/she decides its time to arrive..


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