He has the best smile.
It’s always genuine.
Because he doesn’t understand why anyone would smile if they didn’t mean it.
Smiling because someone expects you to or because you’re trying to be polite or to get on someone’s good side makes about as much sense to him as trying to convince him the sky is green.
Smiling on cue for a picture, he understands, though you can tell that smile from his real one. It’s a little too intense, too forced, and it doesn’t reach his eyes.
And so, his smiles are rarer than most. Maybe all of ours would be if we only smiled when we truly felt joy.
This one is his real smile. I captured it in a moment when he was having so much fun, being quick with the snap of the lens so he would keep doing what he was doing. I can’t help smiling back at him whenever he gives this smile.
I sat staring at that photo for a while, trying to put words to a birthday wish for my middle son.
When what came to mind was not a message to him but to those who are around him.
I wanted to say that if you spend time with my son, especially if you spend a lot of time around him, and you’ve never seen this smile, I feel sorry for you.
Sorry that you can’t see past a first impression or some quirks to see who he really is.
Sorry that you haven’t had that pure joy beaming in your direction.
A little angry that you don’t seem to care that it’s there.
But then I look at that smile, that radiant happiness, and I have to let thoughts of others fade away. Because it’s not about them- it’s their loss.
Instead, I’ll just smile back at my sweet boy.