I am about to ‘age’ myself…but I don’t mind.  Getting older is very interesting, not to mention entertaining!

As my kids grew up, one of the things that I did that “totally drove them nuts” was simply that I Smiled when they ‘discovered something new.’   They did Not remember the excitement I shared with them, or the total interest in their ‘new’ whatever…just the Smile.  No, it was Not a Smirk.  No, I did Not Laugh at them.  It is just that over time I came to see that ‘there really is nothing new under the sun’, and the recognition of that is what brought on “The Smile.”

As these same kids grew into their 20’s, and knew “Everything There Is To Know About Everything  Already”, The Smile was the result of my knowing that trying to teach them anything else, or warn them of their paths’ dangers, or just holding a different opinion than theirs was a totally fruitless effort on my part!  So, realizing that Patience was my only job at that point, the anticipated Peace, alone, was enough to bring on The Smile.

The last time one of my kids got outrageously angry at me, and ‘accused’ me of Smiling (?) was when he was leaving the State we were in and wanted to ‘come say good bye’ to my grandson.  I told him he could come at 3pm, when I would be home from work.  He argued that point.  Since I knew this son to be a mean, abusive, potentially dangerous thief, and that he would probably be all over my house looking for money or prescription drugs if I was not there to stop him, I again told him I would be home by 3pm.  He lost it, and went on a rant from Hell, and when I just listened (what else could I do?) he suddenly stopped and said: “You have That Smile on your face, don’t you!?”  I did….even though the tears were running down my cheeks.

My grandson grew up with me, and he knows The Smile, also…but he is not intimidated by it at all!  In fact, I think he thinks it is funny…most of the time.  If it is ‘one of those times’ that he does not think it is humorous, it makes him pause, think, and realize that we are either ‘done with the conversation for the time being’,  or a New Way or New Idea starts to open up in his mind.  Then, when I Smile, it is because I can almost hear his brain popping!  I think I May be slightly addicted to The Look when someone’s face ‘lights up’ because they suddenly ‘get it.”

I still have The Smile…like the time my child told me how hard it is to raise 2 little babies, then said: “Oh, ya, you have ‘been there.'”  Yes, I have, and I do sympathize with you, Son!  Or when I see someone doing what I already know is not going to turn out well for them, and they get upset if I try to warn them.  Step Back, Allie…all you can do is be patient, and try not to let them see The Smile.  It is not that watching a potential disaster makes me giddy.  It is the watching as the Learning Experience unfolds that brings on The Smile…a smile of recognition, and of remembering when I learned the very same thing!

I have that Smile a lot, lately.  Long, long before Carbon Footprint was a catch-phrase I was one of those ‘irritatingly odd folks” who tried to warn people of the future problems being put in place by the way we were treating each other and our beautiful planet.

For instance,  I did not believe ‘them’ when ‘they’ said “Those diapers are completely disposable.”  Ya…but not safely biodegradable.  A few years later…Oh, my, those diapers are leaching estrogen into our ground water, and messing with our son’s bodies!  Hmmm…

Or: “Of course she is lost in her own sad, self-destructive world.  You cannot treat her like a sexual slave…she is your Daughter, for God’s sake!”

Or:  “If you strike that child, it is assault!  Just as if someone struck you. What will he grow up knowing about controlling his own world…that violence is the key?!”

The list goes on, and on.  If you see me Smiling maybe it is from the relief that the Messages are Finally Getting Through…we Have made some difference in our world.  Progress is a slow critter sometimes…but we ARE progressing.  There have been some major changes, and hopefully we can continue to grow and learn and improve.  I have done my job…you are more than welcome to take over all the causes, and all the future problems that will need strong voices.  And I will be cheering you on…and Smiling.