Some things that make me smile
There are days filled with learning and striving and pushing and working, and they are good days. And then there are days when you need to pause and give thanks that your life is filled with so many people and things that can make you smile: people you can love on and hug, who may even love you back and can make your heart feel good again. Here are a few things that make me smile today:
1. Here’s our oldest son, Matthew, with his little boy-o Emmett Lee. My grandson is only six weeks old and he’s got a million dollar smile already! Can you believe it? Every time I look at this picture, I just melt into a puddle on the floor. My kids walk right past me, I am so melted and invisible, like a puddle of vanilla ice cream on the countertop. “Where’s Mom?” I’m so grateful that God makes babies so adorable that just one look can restore your hope in the future. God hasn’t given up on us yet, clearly!
2. Here’s my other little dolly, Anya Genese, with her papa Andrew at the top of a slide. I’m so happy that I got to be there to watch this moment. She was a bit scared at first up there–it was so high!–but she was in her strong daddy’s arms, and then–then she caught sight of her beloved mama and she took a deep breath and grinned at her and was full of joy and bravery and everything was all right. That’s what a good mama can give to her children, Gentle Reader. Doesn’t that smile just melt your heart?
3. One evening every month my kids go to a skating rink in Lincoln and enjoy skating with their home school friends. I don’t think the owners have changed a thing in that rink since the 70s, including their inventory of skates that are available for rental (pictured above). I start grinning as soon as I step inside–the DJ’s music blaring and the clack-clack-clack of the skates on the floor, and the laughter and high spirits of the kids that are skating is enough to put a smile on anybody’s face–and I grin the entire time I’m there. It’s a magical place, to transport this middle-aged woman back in time, to my high school days when our church group used to go skating together at a similar rink. It was all so precious . . . hoping that that special guy would ask you to do the “couple’s skate” with him (actually that any guy would ask you to skate with him, even holding hands and all); trying to win at the limbo; inching along the wall at first and eventually feeling that thrill of skating fast, out in the middle of the floor with the other fast skaters.
4. We went to “the city” yesterday (Lincoln), to run some life-or-death errands–that is, to buy Amalia a new pair of shoes for a formal she’s going to next week. While there, we stopped at our favorite crafts-and-whatnot store, Hobby Lobby. It was like we’d never left our place in the country: chickens, chickens, everywhere! Apparently chickens are hot in decorating, right? Must be.
Little Mack was confused by this. “But what are they for?” he pestered me for answers. I pointed out that some people liked to decorate their homes with chickens, kind of like art or something. “Why would anybody want to decorate with chickens?” he mused. “They’re farm animals.”
Then he saw the eggs.
EVEN MORE CONFUSING. Eggs are to eat, right, why put fake ones in a basket for decoration? Tell me, Mom. My son thought this was very amusing. And very perplexing. Such a little farm boy. I always suspected that we live under a rock. Turns out, it’s true. We live under a rock.
5. Little Mack’s two top front teeth have been crazy-loose for some time. It drives me nuts, the way he lets them hang by a thread and plays with them, especially when I’m sitting at the table, trying to eat dinner. He won’t let me pull them. All my children have been this way. They know that I actually enjoy pulling teeth (it’s true!) so they don’t really trust me. Like perhaps once I’ve pulled the loose ones, I’ll have a go at the perfectly secure ones? C’mon, kids, I’ve got the pliars! But anyway, Mack was having lots of fun with his snaggledy tooth, twisting it, flipping it up and down (this, during supper, and he sits next to me) and so forth, laughing, of course, the entire time, glancing at me to see how annoyed I was getting. Snorting milk out of his nose. Your kids probably have much better manners than this. I hope so, anyway.
“Let me pull it—-please?” I asked, in my wheedlingest voice. “No! It’ll hurt!” He recoils from my maniacal gleam and shudders. I leave him be, although it takes all my self-control to not just wrestle the little bugger to the ground and just yank that dangly little tooth out of his cheeky little mouth. I say this in the nicest possible way.
That night as I tucked him in, I could see that he was still playing with that silly tooth with his tongue. “Look, Mom,” he said in the dimness of the room, “thsee how I can twisth ith!!”
I had a thought and a memory, which I then shared with him. Straight-faced.
“Did you know that sometimes kids who go to bed with a really loose tooth sometimes actually swallow them during the night?” I asked him, quite calmly.
This is a true fact, Gentle Reader, not just some lame story I made up to get him to let me pull his silly tooth. I’m not that kind of mama. You can probably look it up on your ‘pooter, on that vast encyclopedia website, Wikipedia I think it’s called.
He looked up at me in horror. “What??! Pull it, Mom, pull it!”
So I did. I pulled it. It popped right out, it was satisfying (sly smile) and the tooth fairy left a golden dollar during the night. And only one snaggledy tooth left (sigh). For now.
6. I love my people. My nutty, loving, creative, awesome group of family and friends that God has blessed me with. I’m going to hold them all especially tightly on this day, as I keep in my prayers the poor innocents in Boston and those in Waco, Texas, too.
I hope, Gentle Reader, that you have plenty of folks in your life that you can turn to to hug and to hold and to turn your heart towards on a day filled with sadness for so many.
More from my site
- Rhubarb-dividing time will be followed by pie-making season!
- The ultimate comfort food, only better: coconut tapioca pudding!
…I love what makes you smile….
I had a feeling maybe you would, Caro. 🙂
Glad that you are smiling Amy and sharing the delicious content on your blog that you are!
Thank you Hemal!
What a joy filled life you have! Everyday love and gratitude is so precious and I’m so happy to have shared in some of yours.
Oceana, you do have a poetical name! I love it! Thanks so much for your kind words.
I love the things that make you smile. They made me smile too, and conjured up some memories that added to the smile. Chickens may be popular for decorating, but apparently we aren’t supposed to sew anything with a chicken on it. I’m on a quest to find some chicken fabric, without resorting to going online. One store owner told me, “chickens aren’t popular right now.” Really? I’ve been in Hobby Lobby too, and other craft stores. Maybe fabric is ahead of the game, there was chicken fabric a few years ago, when I didn’t need any. Love your post. Visiting from UBC.
Oh! My mom made me a quilt a few years back with lots of chicken fabric in it. I could send you some scraps! E-mail me your address if you’d like some!
Ah, once again, I am beguiled by your words, Amy, and found myself smiling throughout your whole post today. I was able to see the pictures of everything that you wrote about and hear the skating rink noises–shared in the fascination of chickens for decorating (what IS that all about??) and felt your angst at wanting to get that snaggeldy tooth out once and for all. (psst…..I have used that same line to gain access to the tooth with my kids and grandkids, too!!) Thanks so much for putting a smile on my face which will return now every time I think about all the stories that you put into your one beautiful post.
Thanks for your sweet words, Melissa, and I’m glad you could hear the clack-clacking of those skates, too. 🙂
I love how little Mack didn’t understand decorating with chickens & fake eggs. I don’t get it either. God is good to give us our people. And I am thankful for mine as well. Prayers go out to those who have experienced tragedy with their people.
Thanks, Shawn. Well put.
I am definitely hugging my clan tighter today and smiling at the memories. It can be frightening how things change in the blink of an eye.
True, Regina, bad things happening have a way of reminding us of what’s really important.
On a day when I have, again, committed myself to finding bliss around every turn, your post is the perfect addition to my day! Your family sounds like a wonderful group who knows how to find the fun in life’s ups and downs.
thanks so much, Sheri!
Oh, what a beautiful baby! And such a warm fuzzy post 🙂 . Love it!
Thanks Angie! I quite agree!! <3
LOL You can tell Little Mack that chickens and roosters in my kitchen make me smile. And for me… that’s good enough reason to decorate my kitchen with them 🙂 I’m not sure men ever understand it – and honestly, I’m not sure I do either. All I know is that my face lights up and my heart skips a beat when I see those colorful ceramic roosters and I want to take them all home with me! 🙂
Thanks for the smile. Eydie 🙂
PS: grandkiddos do the same for me -but I DO know why? You’re are adorable.
Thanks Eydie. Guilty secret: I have some ceramic chickens in my house, too. Little Mack doesn’t understand that, but the truth is I snap them up at garage sales and I love them!
I don’t have a group of wonderful people close by. But my husband fits that description all on his own. He does everything that I can’t manage myself. He makes my heart melt with gratitude although he’s not as cute as your grandson. I bet he was once. I’d be devestated if I lost him.
It sounds like your husband is such a blessing to you!
The skates made me smile! Brought back instant memories of all of those days we would go to the skating rink when I was in grade school. Thanks for the smile and the memories 🙂
Thank you, Ashley!
Just wonderful. So many similar things make me smile too. Just fabulous.
Amy, I doubt anything could be more beautiful than a child’s smile and beautiful things (and people) always make us smile.
Thank you for sharing the lovely pics and your thoughts with us.
Thanks so much, Sonia!
I love every one of your pictures. They are beautiful in their own right, they could have stood , without the explanations, they transcend words.
Really, you are too kind with YOUr words. Thank you–you just made my day. I’m always a little self-conscious about my photos, because I use a tiny automatic camera. Thank you.
I always learn something when I read your stories. Today, looking at the first picture. 1t dawned on me that baby’s and old people have double chins. I knew they both wear diapers, and they both need naps, but the chin thing is new information. love his smile.
I’ve noticed lots of similarities between babies and old folks, too: pot bellies, stiff movements, no teeth . . . I guess if we all live long enough, we’ll come full circle! 😉
Love the chicken and eggs story lol. All those photos are just precious!
Thanks Patricia! Can’t you just see the confusion in my little boy’s face?
Isn’t it wonderful that when you homeschool your kids, that they don’t think like the crowd!
Well, that’s true, Debbie, and actually I’m pretty happy about that. 🙂
Babies. They grow tooo fast! One minute you are holding them in your arms the next they are holding their own babies!
I know, I agree, Toni. I still can’t believe my own baby boys are actually Papas now! Such a blessing!
Hi Amy, once again you had me mesmerized with your first picture! What a beautiful baby and truly brought a smile to me face! Really enjoyed learning about your people, family, what they bring to your life and loved the rolling skating as it took me back to the historic rink I skated at here in Toronto in my younger days. What your story did for me this morning is have me slow down, breathe and simply enjoy. Thanks, Wendy PS, glad you had the satisfaction of pulling a tooth! 😉
Thanks Wendy. I’m glad I was able to help you slow down a bit. Blessings!
I thought so much about Boston today – too much – that it was good to read your post. By the way, I am one of those “chicken decorators” that your son wonders about – but no baskets full of fake eggs – yet. (maybe I should take some pictures of my chicken decor one day if I don’t have inspiration for a post, and blog about it.)
I think chicken decor is cute!
I loved this post. It made me smile… Especially the parts about Mack and his tooth and the milk out the nose. 🙂
I’m glad you pulled it up–I enjoyed reading through it again, too! It still makes me smile!