My daughter is beautiful. I look at my baby girl and she takes my breath away. It has nothing to do with her blonde hair or her sparkling blue eyes, though they’re a nice touch. What makes my daughter beautiful is her smile.
For the longest time, I couldn’t define exactly why this was the case. How does this little girl’s smile have the power to light up an entire room? How does she completely lift my spirits, simply by climbing into my lap and grinning? Why do strangers’ faces brighten, merely at the sight of her? I knew she was special. I knew she was a cutie-pie. I knew that her happy, sassy attitude made her tons of fun; however, I could never quite put my finger on what it was that made her smile so powerful.
Then one day my husband hit the nail on the head. He told me that the thing he loved most about our Lexi was that, unlike most people, she had no facade.
Bam. That was it. That was what made my daughter’s smile so very beautiful. It was real. She doesn’t understand pretense. She never tries to fool anyone. Her smile is real because she is real. With Lexi, what you see is always what you get. When she’s sad, she cries. When she’s mad, she throws something (I’ve become very good at ducking). When she’s happy, well… she absolutely radiates joy. Pure, unadulterated joy. You don’t realize what a rare thing that is until it’s right in front of your face.
So, the next time you’re out in the world and you catch the smiling face of a special child like my Lexi, really notice it. Really take it in. I guarantee you’ll go on with your day feeling incredibly uplifted. Joy like that is intoxicating. It captures you and pulls you in. You can’t fight it. But then, why would you want to?
Emily Davidson lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan with her husband and kids. She’s a classically trained pianist, but is currently a stay-at-home mom while teaching private music lessons on the side. Her husband, Adam, is the lead Pastor at Portage Free Methodist Church. She has three children; Alexis, age 11; Malachi, age 9; and Zachary, age 6. Her daughter, Alexis, was born with Down syndrome. When Lexi was three years old Emily discovered that her daughter was also autistic. Lexi is now doing phenomenally in both school and therapy, and loves to share her joy with the world around her through her beautiful smile and amazing hugs.
Emily currently shares Lexi’s story with the world through a public Facebook community entitled “Lexi-Bear: Down Syndrome and Autism United. https://www.facebook.com/downsyndromeandautismunited?ref=hl
This article was featured in Issue 40 – Conquering Stress