Face of hope

Face of hope
Courtesy: TIffany Kay Photography

Monday, June 4, 2012


On Saturday, we headed down to the Summerfest held downtown Atlanta.  My oldest, Reilly, just started Irish Dancing (something I did competitively growing up) about 3 weeks ago with the Burke Connolly Academy of Irish Dance.  She was very excited and jumped right into her lessons with excitement! They were doing a little show at the Summerfest and asked Reilly to come dance .... to which she of course said YES and was very happy! It sounded like a fun afternoon for the whole family.

Reilly before she danced

We had to park several blocks away from the entrance.  We put Meagan in our old jogger and walked to the entrance. We made it to the Kidsfest area where Reilly was supposed to dance and parked ourselves in the front to watch her.  She did two of her Reel steps and did a great job! She had so much fun! It was great to see her back up there enjoying dancing!

Not bad for her first 3 lessons!

As we walked out, of course we had huge crowds to fight.  We were weaving in and out of people with every step and the walk back seemed like forever.  I started to look around and I noticed something.  Every person who was walking towards us suddenly got a huge smile on their face.  Sometimes they would talk amongst themselves or even turn to their friends to have them smile too.  I was like "What are they smiling about?"

Then it occurred to me... Meagan was facing outward as we walked forward.  The second people would see her face, they would smile.  Make a comment. Or give a sweet well intentioned giggle and nudge their friends who would smile as well.

I peeked over the top of the stroller and this is what I saw:

Now who couldn't smile at that?

As we continued to fight through the crowds of people, it started to get frustrating to me. It was hot. The kids were tired. As I started to think about the coming weeks, the outside stress of some family issues hovering over us  began to weigh on my mind.  But then I looked up and saw the sea of smiles we were now walking through.  No grumpy faces.  No one annoyed we were trying to get through with a stroller.  Just smile after smile as they looked down on Meagan's face in that stroller. Then I started to re-evaluate my thinking.  Yes, it was hot... but I got to watch my daughter dance and have fun and how lucky we were to have such a beautiful day. Yes, we were tired, but we were able to walk around as a family and spend time with one another. And yes, it was crowded, but seeing all the smiles Meagan brought to that crowd was something very special.

Meagan may have her own path, but now I think I know a little part of God's plan.  We are supposed to find joy and love in this life through His gifts to us - and what better way to express this than through a smile? And Meagan, even with her challenges could get an instant smile out of anyone that day. I know when I look at her, I just smile. It's an immediate reaction. 

I don't know why, but I feel Meagan is so close to God.  She is so pure and innocent and really has no choice but to find the joy in her days. What a gift that is. It is so easy for us, as adults, to get bogged down in the stress of daily life, or to let the little things (heat, fatigue, etc..) cloud an otherwise great day with our families.  I believe part of the purpose of special kids like Meagan is to remind us to not forget the joy and innocence of life, even among the stresses and responsibilities we have as parents and accountable adults.

Thanks Meagan for making Mommy and so many others smile on Saturday and everyday!  One look at you, and I know you are a picture of God's joy for us all!


  1. So good to see her happy and smiling -- and what a tongue :)

  2. Aww!! She is adorable. This is my first time reading your blog. I am really enjoying it. I read it to my boys, and they liked the videos too.