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Self portraits make me smile...

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I could stare at this self portrait of my daughter for hours. It makes me happy and takes me back...

It’s a self portrait she finger painted in nursery school.

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But lately, life is not so simple for teenagers or for any of us for that matter. I think if my girls could delete two words from the dictionary, hybrid and remote, they would be quite pleased.

You see, some days I forget how much of their world has changed.

Day after day they are at home doing online learning and not having as much social interaction. They have chosen to stay home more and not participate in hybrid learning since more and more cases are popping up in our town.

But the days become long, the pressures of school still exist and many activities are cancelled, resulting in some of their smile being dulled a bit.

>span class="s1">No, these kids right now don’t even see their friends on Zoom while in class, since they all remove the cameras... but honestly, what teenager wants to sit through Physics at 8 am with a camera on, critiquing every inch of their face?

So, I hit a bit of a wall last night...

I have rarely complained about life changing, since I could see the bigger picture and the fragile lives being lost.

But, I hit a bit of a wall last night...

I realized I want life to go back to how it was before March, for my kids...

I want them to head back to school, they miss it.

I want them to lick their fingers after eating Doritos and not think too much about it, while having a sleepover.

I want them to be able to take a bite of their friends cookie or talk to a friend, without a mask on, while walking down the street.

I hit a bit of wall, while wishing for the simple things we took for granted.

So, when I see this painting, it makes me happy and reminds me of a time when green smiles meant everything.

My hope is that now, as a teenager experiencing a global pandemic, she can still see the innocent perfection within this painting and find her green smile.

Maybe she can find some finger paints, put on an oversized shirt of her daddy’s and paint like her inner four year old.

Not holding back, not over thinking, not wondering what-if, and not focusing on anything but her own soul for that one moment.

And maybe, just maybe, for a brief moment, she can push some of her worries away.

But this is my hope for all of us really...

to find the beauty within our green smiles, even on the days when we may have hit a wall...


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