SMILING

smiling

DREAM CAR! image by photobucket

I guess I’m growing wiser and finally becoming more mature. (knock on wood) It’s about time…

Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you, but I have proof.

Today a guy in a parking lot called me a bad name. I tried to reason with him. When I could see that he was just mad at the world or himself and was beyond being able to reason. I asked him to confirm his stated position, “So I’m the _ _ _”? (3 letters, the last 2 are “s’.” I turned and walked away.

Still not convinced? How about the fact that I get more joy seeing my loved ones smile due to something I’ve done for them?

A few years back we took the kids to Disney Land. I loved that place when I was a kid. We didn’t get to go too often even though we lived pretty close. Nowadays I don’t like crowds and really despise standing in lines.¬†However I love to see my kids smile, and that more than offsets the negatives.

While we were visiting the Magical Kingdom, our little one told my wife, “Mom, I can’t keep my smile down”! Priceless…

I remember the joy of new undiscovered treasures in my life. The first joys were monitored by my parents. My first dog Pee Wee. My first red bike, complete with sissy bar. Of course the true American right of passage, my first car. These “first” things in life were exhilarating, absolutely no way of keeping my smile down. I grin silently in remembrance of them.

At my age, I’ve had a lot of “first” things in my life. I appreciate any and all things provided by God in my life, and I’m thankful. The smile of “First-time” innocence is gone. I suppose that’s part of the price to pay for wisdom. I’ve learned that material things in this world while enjoyable are fleeting.

I grew up with my first dog Pee Wee. He was there with me from 4th grade on. We moved to the city where my dad got a job. I was getting ready to start high school in a strange new place. My only friend and solace was my short-life-long-best-friend, Pee Wee.

We were out of town for the weekend, getting the last of our furniture from what I only knew as home. Someone broke the gate at our new house. Sunday afternoon when we got back to the new house, Pee Wee was gone…

That first new red bike lasted about a month. My oldest brother borrowed it to go down to the newspaper office. It was stolen in less than 5 minutes. My brother did eventually buy me a new bike with the money he made on his paper route.

That first car represented independence. I used that independence without too much responsibility. I would eventually get tickets, suspensions from school until made by my dad to sell it.

Such is life in our fallen world. The smiling comes and goes. The smiles at this age should come with a disclaimer. You know the ones selling a type of medical drug, at the end of the advertisement they give all the possible side effects. “May cause diarrhea, loss of vision, stroke, or paralysis.” I have to laugh. It sounds like a comedic gold mine.

McKenzie and Ali didn’t get to choose their first vehicles. My call, not theirs. We put them in big safe vehicles. They smiled uncontrollable smiles at their “American Right of Passage” ceremony.

Years followed, Kenz got in a pretty serious wreck. Thank God she was in a big vehicle. A few more on top of that Ali backed into her mom’s car. Man oh man, that truck did some serious damage!

The smiles come and go. I still have smiles I can’t keep down. Now they show up as I witness “the firsts” in my love ones lives.

The second vehicle in our house after 4 years of driving is up to the girls. (within budget) I knew a year and a half ago the unsinkable smile when Kenz found the car of her dreams.

Yesterday it was Ali’s turn. I heard her say, “OH MY GOSH”! – “I CAN’T KEEP MY SMILE DOWN”! – “I can’t even think of someone dying and keep it down”!

I couldn’t either…