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Make Smiles In 2020

January 1, 2020

As the hours start to tick away in 2020 I wish to post a paragraph from my 2008 Christmas letter. May the message in this paragraph be your guide at some point along the way this year.

“Perhaps none other than the quiet act of getting a child to giggle and smile comes to mind as a way to close out the memory book for the year. A small girl named Marie lives on our block and walks with her parents past our place every day. Her parents are here from France for a UW-Madison project, and as such, the little girl only speaks French. While James speaks and teaches the French language, and so connected easily with the girl, my English language sounded like gibberish to her, and since she did not have many other such speakers around her on a daily basis, it made her unsure and timid when I was around. But being just a big kid, I knew there had to be a way to break through, and get her to smile. So after weeks of meeting a stony-faced child, I saw my opening one spring day. I picked up a dandelion that had sprouted on the lawn and developed to the point that it was white with feathery seeds. I brought it to her, and just about the time, she reached for it blew the many white seeds to the wind. She looked…..stared….and then broke into a major grin. So off I went to get another one……. There is a lesson in there about living life and finding new ways to see the world and be content with life.”


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