Who can resist smiling at a baby?  Not many.  Why is that?  Most people will break out their funniest face and their goofiest voice just to try and make a baby smile.  A baby they don't even know.  But when it comes to other adults, we tend to be stingy with our smiles.  Why do we often choose to keep our smiles to ourselves?   Have you ever had someone smile at you and turn your whole day around?  Have it completely warm your insides?  A smile is life changing.
Kalvin and Finn shared some smiles at the local sunflower patch.

I was walking home late from work recently.  I winded my way through the back alleys of Boston in attempt to shave a few seconds off my walk.  It was dark, really dark.  I wanted to stop and change my shoes, but there really was no place to sit.  I kept moving.  As I walked, I spotted two people outside a bar sharing a smoke.  I kept my eyes focused on them, mainly out of fear.  I continued to move closer to them, gripping my bag a bit tighter as I walked. And then, out of nowhere, it happened.  A giant hole appeared in the sidewalk.  I landed in it.  On all fours.  As I tried to gather my belongings and my pride,  I heard the sweetest sounding voice yelling to me, "Are you all right.  Are you okay?" The voice was coming from the direction of the bar.  Could it be the voice of the two people I was just so weary of?  I looked up to see them running towards me.  "Are you ok? Let us help you?" they repeated in the sincerest,  kindest voice I have ever heard.  I could feel their warmth. Their sincerity.  "Please, let us help you," they begged.  The woman's voice was so telling.  As she helped me to get up, I looked up at her and there it was.  A smile.  In that moment, I knew she cared.  It was written all over her face.  And as embarrassed as I was, my fall had been overshadowed by their kindness.  It stayed with me as I continued on my way.  Wrapped around me like a blanket.  Making me walk a little taller.

A little further on down the road, I took notice of a couple walking hand in hand in front of me.  I was focused on the woman's jeans at first; thinking to myself how desperately I needed a new pair, when I noticed how peaceful they looked strolling arm in arm.  They made me smile to myself.  As I passed the couple, now standing in front of the bike rack for the new bike share system,  I heard the woman comment to the man how she has been wanting to try riding one of the new public bikes.  How fun they looked.  I was thinking the same thing to myself.  Our eyes met for a second.  Still wrapped in the warmth from my earlier "helpers," I gave her a big smile.  Feeling confident,  I shared out loud that I too had wanted to try riding the new public bikes.  My validation caused her to return the smile.  I felt happy.  My insides felt warm.  I felt love from two strangers.  A kind act is contagious. Kindness begets kindness.  A kind act can create a miracle.  

I was giving Kalvin one of his daily shots for the blood clot in his leg when I truly realized what a difference a smile can make.  This boy can handle just about anything-staying in the hospital for days, MRI's, scans and EKG's, but he does not like shots.  I was thinking how far we had come in these last few days.  The tears and panic attacks had subsided.  Exposure therapy was working.  As I looked up at him,  I really noticed just how terribly scared he still looked.  Uncomfortable.  Petrified even.  All of the above.  I placed my hand on his arm and smiled up at him.  "Do you know how incredibly brave you are?" I asked.  "You are the bravest person I know, Kalvin." Still smiling at him.

That is when I noticed the tears rolling down his cheeks as he managed to squeak out, "Thank you, that makes me feel so good."  I often find Kalvin all choked up when I say sweet things to him. When I remind him what an amazing person he is.  It is as if he doesn't hear them enough, which obviously he doesn't.  I feel like I am always telling him how brave and wonderful he is, but maybe I am just thinking it and not verbalizing it as often as I think.  Or at least, not sharing it with him.  At that moment,  I really understood how impactful a smile and a compliment can be.  They can be life changing.  Spoken words are so powerful. 

Do you know someone who could use your smile today?  A smile is a compliment.  Share one today and notice how your own insides fill up with warmth.



  1. This is such a beautiful post, Kristen. I'm pinning it right this moment. I felt so inspired by the others' kindness toward you (and then yours in turn), but Kalvin's response to your words melted my heart. I think sometimes we underestimate how much the people around us need to hear our good thoughts about them. I'm inspired.

  2. Thank you Erica. It really is amazing how a smile can tranform your day. XOXO

  3. What happened to Finn's arm?