It’s always been my job. So I jump. I do the head move where I use my face to snuggle my way into a petting situation. I wag. I cuddle. But it seems I’ve been replaced.
I realized it today when mom was getting emotional about the knee news again and dad shoved baby Carter in her face. Literally. One minute, he was holding my three-month-old little person, and seconds later mom was. You probably had to be there to appreciate the randomness of the handoff. It was so quick and so incredibly unexpected in that moment. So much so that Carter’s little head bumped mom’s lip into her teeth and she started bleeding. And I know it hurt her. And Carter for that matter.
But in that moment it didn’t matter. Because in that moment baby Carter smiled. He looked right in her eyes and smiled that big goofy toothless grin of his. And she smiled. And dad smiled. In that moment all kinds of frowns were turned upside down.
And it had nothing to do with me. It was something I had been failing to do for more than 24 hours. And a teeny tiny (selfish) part of me was pretty disappointed that it wasn’t me who finally got through to them. But after all the tears that have been shed, seeing all those beautiful smiles at once was enough to bring my priorities back into focus.
It goes to show something I’ve often commented about – the power of a smile. From the ground up, it is the very personification of joy. I’ve always taken pride in my ability to make my people smile. So I jump and do the head move and wag and cuddle. None of that did any good today. But Carter, who may or may not know the power of a smile at his tender young age, held the power today. And I’m okay with that.
Because in that moment I heard the voice of Nat King Cole. “Smile though your heart is aching, smile even though it’s breaking…if you smile through your fear and sorrow, smile and maybe tomorrow you’ll see the sun come shining through…if you just smile.”