Daily Step – Are you smiling under that mask?


Is your smile bright enough to shine even through a mask?

On the way home yesterday afternoon one of my twins recounted his day. They were masked up and around other kids for the first time in five months … and apparently, it was absolutely heavenly. He was dancing in his seat with joy as he shared all the details.

“And were you good with your mask, buddy?” I asked.⠀

“Yes, I was!” he said. “But mom, I don’t like masks.” Me either kid, I thought. I think a lot of us don’t. But instead of empathizing out loud, I just asked him “Why?” And his answer floored me.

This sweet child so earnestly said “because with a mask no one can see my smile.”

This kid’s smile can always light up my day. He has always smiled so big when he’s happy that he shows almost all of his teeth. “You are right, buddy. You have a great smile, worthy to be seen.”

This morning as I’m recounting that conversation and stealing myself up for the madness of getting everyone out the door again today – I am thinking of how much more intentionally we must work to bring joy to one another right now. Our usual way of communicating joy – through the smiles on our faces – is altered now. Instead, we have to communicate it through the tone of our voice, the glimmer of hope in our eyes, and the words we say to one another.

So my prayer this morning is that each of finds something today that lights us up so much that our joy radiates right through our masks. May we allow ourselves the freedom of feeling happy and excited about the start of a new year despite its complications.

And may we be graced with the earnest desire of a child who just wants to spread their smile to the world.

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