A little girl has, of course, many smiles. There is the pleading smile for an ice cream cone. There is the gentle, quiet, look you in the eyes smile. There is the glorious happy to see you smile. These are just a few of them.
Although I could never choose a favorite, one of them is the bashful smile. It only appears in special settings, at least with my girl. It did so early this morning.
We were departing to celebrate a friend’s wedding. When we arrived at her car door, I stepped ahead and reached for the handle. Thought I’d set the tone for the day. Besides, she was all dressed up in a beautiful dress. It was quite impossible to resist such treatment-
Me – “My Lady…” with a little bow.
She looked at me and sort of giggled, then crawled in the car and smiled bashfully to herself like she had just been treated like Cinderella riding in the Fairy Godmother’s spectacular chariot.
That was it. It only lasted a few seconds.
Later, I completed the day’s event on our return-
Me – “Mademoiselle…”
She again smiled at being treated in this manner.
Although the bulk of my daughter’s life with me is sweet, warm and fun, I can be pretty firm as a parent, at times. She needs to clean up her own messes. My name is Daddy, not Butler. I won’t put up with lying. And, if you’re being unnecessarily selfish or catty, you’re going to hear it from me to cut the Princess act pronto.
(To be clear, I mean firm in my tone, not screaming, no time outs and definitely, absolutely, never – not spanking.)
But despite our ‘moments,’ she knows she’s the apple of my eye.
Still, as a parent, you don’t ever want to take that for granted. So, it’s the little moments in the thick of real life where you make sure. It’s like a game. You play hard, and you get rewarded with smiles – the ones where they feel happy, the ones where they feel proud, and, yes, the ones where they feel a little bashful.