20 July 2009

Secret Smiles

My mother and I are both convinced that Maggie has been smiling since she was just a couple weeks old. My pediatrician thinks I’m mad, which might be true, but has nothing to do with whether or not Maggie is an early smile-er. Of course Maggie refused to smile during her U3, the German well baby one month check-up. However, can you blame her, she was being poked and prodded, hung by one leg than the other and flipped this way and that at a time of day when she is usually sleeping.

Most people explain those early baby smiles as gas, but gas has certainly never made me smile. Maggie’s smiles are becoming more frequent and more obviously a reflection of how she is feeling. When Max leans down to her and whispers “Hi baby,” tickling her with his blonde fringe, a big toothless grin lights up her face. When I speak dinosaur talk, the rolling lips, the clicking of the tongue or the popping of lips, she looks at me, gives me her silent baby laugh and coos.

Those easy un-conscious smiles are one of the best gifts my children can give me. When everything else seems to be falling apart, and I’m not sure I can take it anymore, just one precious smile from one of my children, and I can go on. This time is fleeting, and one day their smiles will be forced if the photographer can coax one out of them. So please don’t take away my babies’ early smiles, they are my little nuggest of gold, the moments I will hold on to when they reach those teenage years, when the smiles become rare and few in-between.

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