“It hurts too much to smile”

The past couple of days our neighborhood has been filled with bicycles.  Riding up and down the streets.  Children racing and laughing and it has been absolutely wonderful, as they stretch their legs and spirits after long days of learning.

Yesterday Cooter and our Princess were out riding with friends, old and new.  Then it happened.  Cooter headed over to his best bud’s house and misjudged the distance and his braking power.

He got in a fight with a brick mailbox.

And lost.

It looked much worse than it was.  At least I hope so.  Once I ascertained that it was an external injury–really bad scrape down his jaw line on one side of his face, I was able to begin working on calming him down.  He was very, very upset and very, very shaken.  When he started to tell Mess Cat what happened when she dropped by, his chin wobbled.  Bless him.  More than this Mama’s heart can bear for sure.

What do you want baby–you can have it.  

He wanted something cold to drink.  And then not.  He wanted to watch TV, and I discovered that he gets and LOVES Tom and Jerry.  Whatever, man, I didn’t even know what to do with that.  So I chose to be thankful for the sound of his subdued laughter.

At his worst moment, he was pretty convinced he was going to die.  I assured him this was not the case, and what would I do without him?  Who would come in and smile and wave at me every morning?

“I don’t know,” he mumbled, keeping his mouth as still as possible.  “Ask Princess.  Or Daddy.”

Oh my.

He looked so sad.  Stoic.  When Anxiety Girl got on my last nerve worrying over him, I finally asked him, “Why do you look so sad?  Can you give me even one little smile?”

He sighed and shook his head. “No ma’am.  I can’t.  It hurts too much to smile.”

Bless him.  Bless this little guy.

Because he speaks the truth.  Sometimes our wounds are so great and so painful that even just a smile hurts too much.

And sometimes those wounds are not visible to the outside world, so folks are left wondering why we are the way we are–why we can’t bring ourselves to smile and join in the merriment.

Because life is hard, people.  And I daresay that every single one of us is sporting a wound or a scar that at one time or another or right at this very moment makes it hard for us to smile.

And when that happens, I hope that you have someone who will sit and watch Tom and Jerry with you and hold your hand and put healing things on your soul so that in time, with love and care, you can heal–and that they’ll be patient with you, as healing can take a while.

May we all find a way to work through the pain of the journey and come out on the other side able to smile again–even if there’s a scar, may we always be able to find a way to smile once again.

Love to all.


ps–there are no pictures of his “scrape.”  You’re welcome.

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