In the Denzel Washington movie, Training Day, there is a part where everyone is relaxing at Lance Hendrickson's house. Ethan Hawk is stoned, and he tells Lance that the streets are all about 'Smiles & Cries'.
Now in the movie it had a very different meaning than what I'm about to go into, but since I stole the line for the title of my post, I figured it only fair to show respect to the film. After all, I am a movie buff.
Thankfully, so is my daughter. She's barely 2, but she is obsessed with movies. One in particular, actually: Frozen. She will sit entranced from start to finish and not move once.
I've seen it about 12 times, and it's actually a great flick. But my point today is smiles and cries, so let's get on with it.
The other day I was stressing a meeting with some executives, as I was presenting data I'd put together and they usually have about 8,000 questions. It was my day to drive my daughter to the sitter, so as we're cruising along she shouts from the back seat,"MOVIE! MOVIE!".
This means she wants to hear the soundtrack. I don't own the soundtrack, so I YouTube it at a red light and let it play.
She begins to belt out the lyrics like she's trying out for the lead in The King & I. She's singing so seriously and with such drive (for a 2 year old) that I begin to laugh quietly in the front seat.
I laugh...and then break into watery eyes.
You have to understand: My daughter is my world. If I have a bad day, I come home and squeeze her and it all gets better (not discounting my wife; she's an amazing woman and I couldn't get through life as I do without her).
So she is my smile. But to hear and see this little girl singing like no one's around and she wouldn't care if they were...it melts my heart. It's so sweet and innocent it, well it makes me cry.
It reminds me that no matter what crap gets dumped on me throughout the day, no matter the traffic or the workload or the flat tires of the world, there is still a part of me, in her, that can just 'let it go' and remain carefree.
It makes me smile, and it makes me cry. I smile at her innocence. I cry because it's sweet and honest and pure and...well, I miss it. I miss it in me, that carefree attitude.
But as grown ups, we have to work. We have bills to pay, mouths to feed, and sometimes we have to take a hypothetical kick in the tenders to get through it.
But it's all worth it just to see that innocence . I hope she hangs onto that as long as she can. It gives me hope that we as a society and race have not totally dicked this life thing up.
Sure, there are days where my family and I are carefree, and just stop to enjoy the things life has to offer. And that makes me smile.
Whatever your smiles & cries are, embrace them. Never let them go.
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