When my daughter was very young, under four years old, she used to have a favorite pastime. She loved to stand in the center of the couch, looking up at the family portrait that hung on the wall behind the couch. She would stare at the images of her father, mother, older brother and herself as an infant, for long periods of time...and all the while she was smiling.
It was cute to see, but I wondered what was going through her little head....what intrigued her so...why she smiled back at the smiling images. So one day I asked her, "Jen, what are you doing?" She turned to me with all earnestness and explained she was, "practicing to smile like YOU, Mommy!" I had to laugh. Even at three, she had a smile that would outshine mine to eternity, and yet she wanted to reflect back to others the smile she loved...from me.
Jen has always been that way. I NEVER know what she will come out with, either when questioned, or just out of the clear blue! And I sometimes wonder if she doesn't simply engineer her "sharing" of her thoughts JUST to see my grin, as she catches me off-guard! And of course, I am then rewarded with her grin...and I am reminded of a little girl, standing on the couch gazing up.
Jen with boyfriend Ben
Jen (right) with best friend from high school
Once upon a time...she was a little girl...sporting a haircut...courtesy of "big bother!"