Monday, June 19, 2006

Smiling--the early stages

"A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face;" Proverbs 15:13 (The Message)

The smile that flickers on baby's lips when he sleeps— does anybody know where it was born? Yes, there is a rumor that a young pale beam of a crescent moon touched the edge of a vanishing autumn cloud, and there the smile was first born in the dream of a dew-washed morning. -Rabindranath Tagore, Gitanjali, 1912

We all do it. Sometimes we do it when no one else is around so we won't embarrass ourselves. We make funny faces and noises to make the baby smile. When a baby smiles, he smiles from head to toe. It's a smile that brings a gurgle eventually developing into a giggle. It's a smile that warms our hearts and lifts our day.

According to Martha and William Pieper of , "The first social smile may appear as early as 6 weeks, but it's unlikely to be a regular feature for quite a while. Generally, babies smile readily by 12 weeks, and by 6 months most smile ecstatically at the people they know best."

I think babies are smarter than we think. They know when they smile they are encouraging us. After all, with a smile a baby says, "Mom. Dad. You're doing a great job. I'm happy, healthy, and well-cared for. Now make another funny face."

(Copyright 2006 Karen Robbins)

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