His Smile

IMG_2853Carter’s smile… ok, there is really no way to say this than just really be crazy honest.  My son… who is perfect in my eyes and can do no wrong (or at least I thought this until he started the second grade) and most of the time still do.  Anyways he’s cute.. super cute… and I adore him from head to toe.  But his smile… O’yes “THE SMILE”.  His smile has taught me more about life than a million books could.  The kid has the cutest most vivacious  smile on the planet… if it is real.  The key word is real.  And let me define real for you:  A real smile comes from playing, laughing at my expense, smiling if someone get’s hurt (just a little), accomplishing something hard or seeing a loved one or just being truly happy and NOT knowing a picture is being taken.   He can still be very happy but the second he sees a camera it all goes down hill.  He refuses to be anything but real.   Never has.. never will.  When he was little I used to “suggest” adorable little things for him to say to my family when he was on the phone with him.  I would quietly remind him to say “I love you.”  He would then repeat “My mom is telling me to tell you that I love you.”  I would quickly with no hesitation shoot him the YOU ARE IN HUGE TROUBLE WHEN YOU HANG UP LOOK.  He would then proceed to say “I better say it so I don’t get in trouble when we hang up because my Mom’s face looks so mad”.  Enough said…. he’s on his own.

Carter Lyon certainly is a very typically kid… I have to call him to dinner 11 to 14 times before he will come and eat the food that I so kindly prepare (or the takeout I have transferred to our plates) for him to eat.  He takes about 30 minute to complete a 5 minute  chore and it’s painful.  He stops multiple times in between to complain about his failing legs or to get water because he is so dehydrated from even the thought of work.  He is so kind, loving, smart, caring and about a million other amazing things but he is not helpful.  Not even sort of.  He has disappearing down to an art.  I will be folding clothes directly next to him and don’t even notice he is gone for 5 or 10 minutes.  Anyways I tell you this so you know I am not under the my kids is perfect spell.

He also crazy emarasses me.  I will make a comment that is very accurate and if ONE detail is wrong…. ie: I say 45 min (let’s be honest WE ALL know I exaggerate a bit… not to make my story better but because details really really bore me)… anyways if 45 minutes is real 30 minutes  in Carty’s mind it is wrong and didn’t happen… he is painfully accurate he will tell me (or who ever is there) that it never happened.   Perfect example: Last year Carter and I surprised Tyler with this crazy huge glorious swing.  It had to be made.  I know these crazy smart college boys who worked for me last summer on one of my flip houses.  Anyways I told them exactly what I wanted and was involved all along the way.  We built it on our back deck.  It was crazy heavy and there was usually just me and one of them working on it.   I helped construct it, bought and hauled all the material for it, hammered, held beams in place and everything inbetween.  In fact we put it in the wrong spot so Ty and I had to move the beast off the patio and to the s’more pit area (not fire pit… the only reason we built it was for s’mores so it deserves the right name).

Ok…I can assure you I am not off point.  But I will focus and drive you to where I am so you aren’t lost.   A good friend asked my little man if his mommy built it.  He replied with all the certainly in the world that “No, she didn’t build it… she paid her college guys to do it.”  You can not see my predicament.  Who the crap lies about helping build a swing. I am so quick to give credit when it’s do.  And they did a ton.  But so did I.  Not to mention I spent hours and hours staining it, leveling the ground and cutting off the 12 inch bolts so it would be just right.  Infact when we were putting up a massive beem (me and my friend) it was so heavy that it flew off the ladder and I was too stubborn to let go so I was a small casualty.  One broken chair, a crazy sore shoulder and the wind knocked out of me latter the beam was good and so was I.  SO my cute little 7 year old don’t tell me I didn’t do anything with the dang swing.  Later that night I asked him why he said that.  He looked at me and with absolute certainty said “Mommy, because you didn’t build it you had help and built it with other people too.”

That’s why kids are so fabulous.  They just tell it how it is or how they perceive it to me.  I want to know when in life we decide that we must keep up appearances.   I am by no means fake… but I am part of the give me 5 minutes notice club.  This club is very simple.  If I know someone is coming to my house in 5 minutes I can make it look perfect.  (Just don’t look in the closet.  ;)And if for some reason I can’t… I will disclose why it is not perfect.  I have no idea why I do this.  My house is always pretty clean.  Sure we have your occasional hurricane but for the most part it looks good.  I used to do the same thing when I was dating Ty.  If I knew he was coming over late I would actually change my pajamas and  put on sweatpants, do my hair in a messy bun, brush my teeth and then answer the door like I rolled out of bed.  (You know you love someone if you let them see you even when your have the flu, too sick to brush your teeth  and truly look and feel like a train wreck.  We got there alright… that’s when you know the honeymoon is over and life has really begun.  🙂  Side note: I threw up 3-4 times a day when I was pregnant with Carter until the day I had him.  Probably karma biting me. 🙂

I do not claim to be super women nor do I want to be.  I could never pull off those tights she wears.  I hate… yes hate my thighs.  But I guess not enough to do anything about them but complain and avoid tights.  That doesn’t mean I hate my body.  If fact I really like most of it.  Anyways I do what I can and that should be good enough.  I don’t need to explain why I have not yet reached perfection.  I am human…. and so our my friends… neighbors and family.  We are all in the same boat and experience many similar things!

Back to the smile.  His smile is so perfect if it’s real.  When we are taking posed pictures (which is a very often occurrence) 1 out of every 39 smile’s will make the cute.  And when I say make the cut I am not seeking perfection.  I am just avoiding the smiles that he looks like he is in pain or the awkward grin with his eyes totally closed.   I have finally instead of getting frustrated that he can not smile on demand …  figured out how to get the perfect smile every time.  I just have to take the picture when he is in the moment and not take a picture staging a pose.  I guess that sums up my little C.  He’s real.  He loves me and thinks I am basically perfect but he truly doesn’t allow me to “stage” his life.  No coaching over here… he had embarrassed me 1 too many times!  And that is exactly where he wants to be…. be himself.   If you want to know anything about the Lyon family just ask our baby Lyon… he is full disclosure… agh… at least if I haven’t threatened him sufficiently first.

Think about it.  Kids don’t ever bring up why they aren’t perfectly put together or apologize for their room is  a mess.  They don’t offer excuses for who they are.  Why do we feel that is something isn’t perfect that we must immediately disclose why it’s not.   It actually makes more sense to smile when you’re having fun than to smile when you posing for a picture with your head slanted and you’re told to say “cheese”.   When I go to visit a friend I go to see them…. not their house.  So here is the real challenge…. next time a friend is coming over don’t disclose why your house isn’t perfect.  They already know… it’s call you have a life, family, work, obligations ect… BECAUSE their house looks the same way for the same reason. The next time you’re doing a milk run and see someone you know and your in your workout clothes you don’t explain that you just came from the gym…. you get the point.  I hate my thighs but not enough to work on them right now (it’s on my list… just pretty far down).   I love my house to be immaculate but not enough to clean it 24/7 so it looks perfect.  Your perfect just the way you are… you don’t have to do extraordinary things to be extraordinary.  Cheers to another day!  XOXO


ps.  I love all of my little man…. every last smile is perfect to me… staged or real.

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