As I paused to review how many gray hairs were standing straight up off my head in the mirror, I asked myself, “Who is this faded version of my former self? When the hell did you stop smiling?"
So, I smiled at myself, and guess what happened.
I walked out of the room, and smiled at both of my girls, who smiled in response.
“Hey Mom! Why are you so happy?” Meghan inquired.
I responded, “Because here you are in the middle of this messy room, playing Little Ponies and Barbies. Because Gracie is reading a chapter book all by herself over there. Because, neither one of you beautiful miracles were guaranteed to live. Because I can’t believe you’ve grown so much, and time is flying by. Because I'm your mommy.”
With a puzzled look upon her face, Megs replied, “Oh. I know I’m a miracle Mommy. I almost died a bunch of times when I was teeny, tiny preemie.”
It was almost as if she was telling me, “Duh! This isn’t news. Get with the program, Mom! We’re not preemies anymore.”
I giggled a little as Gracie lifted her head away from her book, and said, “Huh?”
Here I was having a deeply profound moment of life analysis, and my Gracie was safely soaking in the world of Junie B. Jones.
It was a 30-second moment of time that reached out and grabbed me. It said, "Pay attention! Keep being their advocate, but they are happy and secure. Oh, and, remember what you learned when you were a kid:
If I can do this even for a few minutes each day, the happiness will slowly soak back into my every day.
So do me a favor, please.
Smile at yourself in the mirror, and then pay it forward. I’m already amazed at how much better I feel.