Monday, February 11, 2013

A Child's Smile

While walking with my 5-year-old on Saturday evening, I had my head focused on getting to the RedBox and getting home again as quickly as possible.  She was walking a little more slowly and paused now and then, much to my single-minded frustration.

I saw a scruffy man sitting inside the windows, resting on the motorized scooters that were parked by the shopping carts.  I "accidentally" made eye contact with him and looked away, as I was scurrying past.  My daughter made eye contact with him, paused for a moment, and then smiled and waved.  The man was so surprised he grinned and waved back at her before he knew what had happened.  When he caught himself, he looked at me again, and I waved and smiled as well.

My daughter adds beauty to my life on a regular basis.  She does it so effortlessly and easily.  If we are at a restaurant, she will smile and wave at any person walking by her window.  When we are in the car, she will wave at the people in the car next to us at the red light.  It is rare for a person to NOT smile and wave back.  Often, if they are with someone, they will immediately speak to their friend and then they will both wave at her some more.  That always makes her day.

This is such a beautiful thing.  She is passing her own little ray of sunshine through panes of glass.  I deny myself of the beauty of the people around me by averting my eyes.  There is a kind of awkwardness when you are approaching someone and don't know where to look.  I'm always afraid of seeming like I am staring or weird.  My daughter isn't afraid.  She just behaves as naturally as she always does, and when the time is right she welcomes them into a briefly shared existence and then releases them when the moment is up.

There is much to be said for the innocence of a child.  I don't need to be smiling and waving at every person I meet, but what's wrong with eye contact and a nod?  My daughter could be the only person with positive energy that someone experiences in a day.  When she sends her small greetings, she generally receives just as much in return.  I could offer the beauty of acknowledgement to every person I see, just like she does.  It is not that hard, nor is it weird.

That man on the scooter was an invisible person.  He was passing some time, and being passed by.  My daughter didn't see him as scruffy or spooky, she saw his soul.  He deserves beauty in his life, and she did what she has the power to do.  I love my daughter and the beautiful lessons she teaches me every day.

I deserve BEAUTY in my life.

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