It seems silly, really. To think of smiling as something you need to think about to do. But, hey, let me tell you.. after your heart and every fiber of your being has been shattered straight down to your soul, it is something you have to think about. It's something you have to tell yourself, no, will yourself to do. All throughout the day. Every time everyone around you is smiling, whether you were paying attention or not, you see smiles, you smile. That's how it works. Not if your smile is broken, though. Something in your heart connects directly to something in your brain that reminds your mouth to perk up and be present at random intervals throughout the day. (Oh yes, we're getting scientific here.) Especially when you have children. Children are the epitome of happiness. They are all things pure and good in this world. But, unfortunately, not even children can drag a smile out of a broken smile-making-heart-brain-connector-whatchamacallit that's been disconnected. At least, not for me. Not this time. Nothing can.
I'm not sure what changed, to be honest. Maybe nothing. Maybe it's just that time really does heal. Maybe it's just that my face, being so accustomed to smiling always, about anything and everything, was tired of this perma-frown I've been sporting. Or worse, the fake-trying-too-hard-smile that I've donned to at least try to give an appearance of all rightness. That's exhausting. Actually having to tell yourself to smile, and then push those smile muscles up, part those lips.. all of it, just .. it's too much. Anyhow.. I don't know what changed. I don't really even know what happened to cause the smile, if I'm being honest. I was just driving to the Oklahoma Science Museum today with the kids and caught myself smiling. It actually startled me some! And I did, momentarily, try to figure out what crossed my mind or my eye line that may have brought it on. But nothing. I just don't know.
I still cry a lot. Especially when I told my dad what happened. And again when I told my kids why I don't talk to him anymore. Why we can't ask his opinion on Halloween things this year. Why he doesn't want to see their costumes. I gritted my teeth, and explained it to them. As best I could, anyway. That sucked. A lot. A lot a lot. Maybe that's what it was.. knowing that everyone knows now. That it's out there, I shared it, and now no one has to wonder why I keep crying. No one has to wonder why I can't wear a certain outfit or why I don't want to go to certain places right now. No one has to stay perplexed because my eyes start watering up out of the blue and while I keep the tears from falling, everyone can see that they're there, trying to escape.
So, I don't know why I smiled this morning. Maybe I never really will. And that's ok ..
Because today, I smiled. Totally by accident.