Have you ever stopped to consider just how ridiculous we must look to little kids sometimes? I know I personally take my face contortions to another level in my attempts to make a baby smile, laugh, or just keep looking at me with those piercing baby eyes. I’ll make faces, blow up my cheeks, wiggle my eyebrows, crinkle my nose, show my teeth in a crazy smile, or simply smirk at them. And when that little munchkin smiles back, giggles at my silliness, or keeps looking at me with interest (or more probably confusion), I always feel a great sense of accomplishment. I love their unadulterated expressions and the fact that they don’t hide their joy.
Maybe I love it because I know that those babies aren’t judging me — they perceive somebody exuding joy and they, in turn, reciprocate that joy. And while it’s not exactly like they can choose to ignore the person smiling crazily at them as their mom holds them while in the grocery store line, it seems like they always choose to see the good in the person engaging with them. They don’t know if you’ve been having a miserable day, week, or year. They don’t know your life, accomplishments, or failures. But they do know that you’re smiling at them, and they (hopefully) acknowledge that. You smile, they smile. There is a beauty to their innocent joy and interaction with people and something so intriguing and contagious about those happy, smiling faces. Once that baby starts smiling back at you, it’s almost impossible to turn away and stop smiling at them.
So I guess the main point of this post is to say that, every now and then, a crazy smile is a great way to spread joy… You never know who could use a dose of it.
P.S. I dare you to Google Image Search “smiling baby faces,” or watch this video of babies laughing, and not smile. I couldn’t do it.