I recall the very first time(s) I witnessed my baby smile back at me. Wow! Heart-stopping. It felt so genuine and as though it had been thought of for a long time prior to it actually happening. And it’s not as if I’d done anything especially nice to her for me to deserve it. I reckon I must’ve just been about the daily activities that entail the care of a newborn, but I think I remember that she was on the changing table and had been gazing at me (to be honest, that’s mostly all they do. Who/what else would they be looking at while in that position?). I must’ve been dressing her or changing her diaper when I glanced at her and noticed her eyes got tinier to make way for a smile that was forming across her face!
I froze. I stared. My heart did a jig. I thought: “Did she just give me a for-real smile?” Guys, if you’ve noticed tiny newborns, they occasionally have smiles flash across their faces. However, those smiles seem involuntary, almost as though a muscle or two were practicing for the real thing. And then you have the for-real ones, like what had just happened to me. I was doing a double-take. I was thinking many thoughts, and fast. Just like a girl would feel when that hunky guy across the room actually noticed her enough to smile. “For me?” “Is he looking at me?” “Is that a real smile, or he just happened to be thinking of something else and let out a grin?” And on and on. My kid’s smile must’ve changed to a “what’s-wrong-with-this-woman” look because I sure kept staring at her, a massive grin planted on my face.
And just like that, I’ve been smiling ever since. Her smile over time has become increasingly decided, explicit, and directional. There have been smiles made for/aimed at me, the hubs, good friends, and even perfect strangers (what exactly makes strangers perfect, by the way?). There have also been times when, no matter what we do, she has no intention of smiling. Which is OK too. Those moments prove to me that she is a human, and all humans have moods. So, till the next smile I receive from my precious, I’ll smile anyway, forever relishing the memory of the last one – and indeed, of the first-ever one. 🙂
Smile on, my pretty. You get to stop my heart as often as you please.