Thursday, June 28, 2012

That's Where it Went!

Oh how I love the final days of school, each day the embodiment of what children envision what school should be like everyday throughout the year. The field trips and picnics, assemblies,, fun, fun. There are treasures in store for Moms too! The purchasing of the teacher's gift the light at the end of the lunchbox tunnel, even if just temporary is delightful. I especially enjoy the leisure with which my days will begin over the next two months, extra coffee, no nagging. Yes the final days of June are a treasure for all.

Treasures are coming home too! All of things I've been scratching my head over the past 9 months are making a magical appearance. Last week KJ's shoe wardrobe grew by two pair. The space in my cutlery drawer where the spoons belong is filled to over flowing with old spoons, new spoons and I think spoons that belong in somebody else's drawer. The Tupperware, plastic graveyard is being resurrected with an influx of matching containers and lids. The garbage is also receiving it's fair share. I will wash cookie or cracker crumbs, the mold that breeds on six month old fruit cocktail juice...not so much. We lost a few good travel mugs to science this year thanks to the high school coffee, tea, cocoa drinking contingent.

Perhaps my favourite thing to find it's way back home are the pieces of clothing. The 'I have to have it' sweaters, the 'where are your gym clothes?' shorts and t-shirts. I even got back a few 'where the heck are your socks going?' socks and a jacket that smells like locker and unfinished homework mixed with the stench of fuzz covered travel mugs. This week I found out just how many hats were in E's 'where is your hat?' rotation from November thru April...Seven! Seven hats that floated in and out of our front door and eventually settled one at a time into the bottom of a cubby at school.

There is still one day of school left this year. I can't wait to see what comes home ...maybe the gloves, missing mittens and the mysterious missing snow pants. I can only hope!

gratitude is being spared the shopping trip to replace it all!

Gratitude, Hope and Smiles are meant to be shared,


Random Acts and Gratitude

This week I was the victim of a "Random Act of Flowering" okay, victim doesn't fit...I was the delighted and surprised recipient.

The bouquet is gorgeous, it smells intoxicating and made my family giddy with the secrecy of it all. Out of the ordinary usually ignites that response in them.

It took a very out of the ordinary person to pull it off. After a little search and deduction I had a sneaking suspicion who the flower and run angel was....

Pam of Flourish Florals thank you so much for my 'Little Bouquet of Sunshine Between the Raindrops' ...You have just proven that smiles are meant to be shared and that the day you change might not be your own.

Thank you for changing my day :)

Thursday...your turn @ the table! What are you Grateful for today?

Gratitude, hope and smiles are meant to be shared

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Place I never Got to that Got Me to this Place

Yesterday I travelled two hours one way to learn a very big lesson about myself and to cry my eyes out in a Gas & Go parking lot. Sounds like a fun day doesn't it? I fully expected that there would be tears in my day, I just didn't expect them to flow under a $121/litre sign. I was suppose to be at a funeral. A funeral for my cousin, who left this world with a great deal of life yet to be enjoyed, fifty-two years old is a life cut short.

I have come so far in my battle with anxiety, have gotten bigger than so many fears, overcome nearly all of the demons that paralyse me. Heck, I can leave my house, talk to strangers, speak in public, express my opinion, send my children on adventures and see Mike off on a bike ride without having his funeral planned before the sound of his engine is out of earshot. I have come a long way from where I was. I'm very proud of the work and the success I've put in and achieved. I am very grateful for the love and support that helped me get here. I also find myself 'braver than I believe and stronger than I seem' (to quote the friend of a famous bear) in the face of those few lingering scenarios I know still challenge me to work around, work with, work through to navigate.

Navigate, that's a good word for yesterday. One last remaining hurdle is a terror of highway driving, that sounds ridiculous doesn't it, even my Gran at eighty years old jumped on the 400 series without batting an eye. I hate it so much I am not even a very good passenger. Having said that I can get anywhere from anywhere given enough time and a good route planned. I was determined to get  to my cousin's funeral yesterday. I was determined to get myself there. Yes I could have caught a ride but that would have been the old me, the one relying on others to get her through life, to life, that is not who I am anymore. This was something I could do on my own. So, I planned my route, loaded the destination into the GPS. Samantha and I had an agreement; I would leave with plenty of time to spare, opt for the 'alternate' route and she, in return, would be patient and keep me on the back route, no highways.

We did well, so well in fact that about twenty minutes from my destination Samantha decided that I could handle a quick couple of exits on the QEW/403. We exchanged some tense words, I pulled over, re-planned the route to re-avoid the highway. It didn't work, I got horribly lost trying to skirt my fear, every which way I turned the highway seemed the only option. I got so frustrated that I even considered just getting on the dam thing and getting where I need to go but I didn't, the thought of the lives I would be putting at risk with my lack of skill kept me off. I kept driving and cursing and checking the map to make sure I was travelling in the right direction. I swore, I cried and I hated myself for being so ridiculously afraid.

Eventually I even arrived in front of the over flowing church. I was 20 minutes late and the closest parking I could get was six blocks away. By the time I walked in the door everyone else would be walking out. I sat in the van and worked through the last bit of anxiety and frustration. Late was better than never, right. No it's not, not if you are late for a funeral or a wedding, it's disrespectful and embarrassing. In the state I had managed to arrive in I was not nearly composed enough or strong enough to offer up a humorous explanation and a breezy 'laugh it off' for my ineptitude to the people expecting I was going to be there. I put the van in drive and went in search of a restroom. This is where the story finds me parked in the Gas & Go. I called Mike, I was miles and an hour (by his drive) from him helping me but I just needed to hear that I could get back home, that I wasn't going to Hell because I missed a funeral and that my effort no matter how unsuccessful counted. I'm sure that in our twenty eight years together these phone calls, these tears, this worry is the one thing Mike wishes wasn't part of my standard equipment package. Something else happened in that gas station parking lot. I decided that it is time to get bigger than this fear, to look this last hurdle square in the eye and crush it.

Last week I learned how to poach an egg, it was my challenge, my goal. This week the goal is a little grander...I'm going to learn to drive on the highway. I am going to get bigger than my fear so that I don't have to take twice as long, miss the important things in life and rely on other people to get me through quite so much. Gratitude to Mike who has agreed to risk life and limb to help me conquer this hurdle, Gratitude to the guy at that Gas & Go who only smiled and didn't ask any questions. Gratitude for the understanding of the people who thought I should be there.

Gratitude for the knowledge that a set-back today just means I have a little further to go tomorrow. Nothing compared to how far I've already come.

Oh, and if you are on the expressway or 400 series any time in the next month stay clear of the blue mini-van, I will be learning but I will not have a caution flag on.

Gratitude, Hope and Smiles are meant to be shared,


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Way Back Weekend

We spent some time with the dancing hot dogs this weekend. You know the ones I mean, the 1950's grainy film wieners doing the can can and jumping one at a time through a hoop and into a bun. Yes, one of summer's greatest pleasures of all time...the Drive-in Theatre!

Old school, it always amazes me that beyond the admission gate in the middle of a farmers abandoned corn field under a ceiling of stars is yester-year. As though that admission gate is a tear in the time space continuum, nothing changes, ever! The screen is still a painted cinder block wall. The little playground under the lights of the screen crawls with kids in PJ's screaming and giggling with the treat of playing Frisbee in their pyjamas and staying up way past bedtime. In the back rows young people line up their pick-up trucks and their parent's cars where they won't disturb families actually there to watch the features. Moms organize car interiors; pillows, blankets, lawn chairs for the overflow. Car load night especially you can get more people into the movies than can comfortably spend 5 hours in vehicular confines without killing each other. Dads work diligently at scrubbing bugs off the windshield and adjust the radio treble, bass and speaker proportion. The radio delivery of movie sound is probably the only thing that has changed in 50 years. Gone are the tinny speakers that hung on a post before they hung inside your car and left with you if you forgot to return them to their post before driving off at the end of the night.

Movies in this venue are cheap, not just reasonable but cheap. Kids are free, grown-ups get to see two movies for less than the price of one in the cinema and if you are cleaver you can smuggle in your own snacks! A family can easily catch a double feature for under $50...what else can you do with your family for less than $50? Practically nothing!

On our night at the drive-in we enjoyed Brave and The Avengers, both good movies even if I only saw 2/3 of The Avengers. I have, never nor do I anticipate, ever staying awake for the entire second feature. Good thing one of the movies is technically free. We snuggled in, lounged back the seats, adjusted the head rests, swapped seats, negotiated future seat trades and removed our footwear. You can't watch a movie with your shoes on. Between features we put our shoes back on and ventured to the snack booth. Yes we smuggled in licorice, soda and M&M's but nothing replaces drive-in popcorn. Plus it is really neat to show the kids the big projectors that stream the movie onto the screen, it never gets old. Nothing gets old in the snack shack, they serve the same style fries and hamburgers wrapped in foil pouches and steam rolled hot dogs with your choice of ketchup, mustard and relish. Mike always looks like Gulliver inside the building that is built short by design so that you can see over it if you are parked behind (not that anyone parked behind the building is actually watching the movie).

Gratitude today for a fun family escape to the past to celebrate the first official weekend of summer. Gratitude to Drive-in theatre owners everywhere for not changing a thing in the name of nostalgia. How often can your kids actually experience something you enjoyed as a kid, the same way you enjoyed it, dancing hot dogs and all. The very first movie you see at the drive-in will stick with you forever...mine was Herbie the Love Bug. What was yours?

Gratitude, Hope & Smiles are meant to be shared.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Welcome Summer!

Officially Summer has arrived! The heat, the sun, bbqs, patio evenings and early morning market visits. Long live the folks complaining about the intense heat and humidity, you make my heart sing. As long as you have something to complain about I have something to enjoy!  I realise this is what I must sound like from November through April, so I sympathize with your discomfort. Let's just call it even.

I love that the sun gets up as early as I do in these months and goes down at bedtime as though it too is trying to enjoy every once of it's shining time. Also, the fact that my kids now go to bed with the sun instead of while it is blazing high in the sky has diminished some of the bedtime angst that always made me cringe.

The kids are preparing for the last days of school. E is marking 'X's on the calendar in black pen and counting down the days that remain. Lula is already done for the year and is intent on making the very most of summer, grade 12 awaits on the other end of August and she knows it's going to be an intense year of study to ensure the future she wants. KJ knows it too. even though she has 3 years to go. Exams are still looming for her and she is studying intently, music and pots of tea keeping her fuelled through her late nights.

Mike is enjoying bike rides when he can fit them in and fixing up the bike in between adventures. He has a longish road trip planned for late July and I can see the spark of anticipation.

The anticipation for me is this; it is the 10 days lakeside in August when life is about nothing more than enjoyment. It is the day trips to the beach and a Saturday night at the drive-in movies. I am excited for our farm visits and festival adventures. I have plans whirling in my head for my Fridays off and my afternoons free. I am looking forward to writing, sketching and reading, road trips, bbqs summer birthdays, camping trips and lazy porch days with tall glasses of sparkling water and citrus.

I asked the kids to make lists this year of all the things they want to accomplish, see and do this summer. It will help us grown-up people choose activities and adventures. They asked in return what was on my list.

I have one item; don't miss a moment of it!

Gratitude is a bathing suit, a milkshake from Willies, a mile long hike, the open road to unplanned adventure and the laughter of family dancing across the water.

Enjoy your first official summer weekend, make the very most of it!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Stupid is My New Smart

Some days we fall victim to our own stupidity. Today was my day for it. We started out strong this morning. E had his first ever inter-school track meet, he was pumped. I was so excited to be going as well! I arranged to take the morning off of work to be there and cheer him on. In the grand scheme of parental volunteering in school, on field trips and on parent council E got the short end of the stick. Mom went back to work after he started school, with his sisters I got to do it all. That is a Stay at Home Mom perk!

In an effort to make up for the 30 minutes earlier I needed to get out of the house I opted to skip my workout. It is the only truly transplantable activity from our morning routine. I don't like to move it and only do it if I absolutely have to. This morning I had to but it was okay, I had a free evening to squeeze it into.

Off to University Stadium we went. E by bus, Mom by van. I arrived first and staked myself a spot in the stands. Before E arrived I made the connection that I had only plastered him with sunscreen. I take much better care of my kids than I do myself. A football field on the hottest day of the year is ideal for that first really good burn of the year. My skin is now about the same colour as E's first place ribbons in 60 metre and 400 metre relay. A prouder (more burnt mother) you will not find.

Track ended just after lunch, which I did not pack for myself. I said good bye to E and headed to the office. The only thing between point A and point B resembling food was a McDonald's grilled chicken wrap and a vat of ice tea in a lame attempt to revive my dehydrating cells.

About 2 hours into my desk I remembered that I had an appointment to donate blood. This sudden knowledge cancelled any plans I had transplanted to workout in the evening, making today my 'off day'.

In the blood donation clinic when they said left arm or right I said "doesn't matter." why do I say this in an effort to be agreeable I forget that it does matter. I thought to myself last time that my left arm is perhaps over used for the purpose of blood giving, switch it up I thought...but I said "doesn't matter". Clearly it mattered a lot because right now I can't move my left arm.

Stupidity after stupidity today. I got sunburned, scheduled my self right out of a workout, ate food for lunch that left me reeling in abdominal turmoil and fraught with the knowledge that I could not even work off the empty calories. I gave blood on a day that was destined to leave my snooker tired without being down a pint.

I have fallen victim to all of my own stupidity today. It has landed me in my current position... On the porch, in my lounge chair typing with 1 1/2 hands (the left one really isn't working so hot) about the amazingness of my son I got to watch today, with a horse throat from cheer leading, unable to fold laundry or vacuum, whipped tired and ready for a good night sleep the minute I  Mike gets the kids to bed.

and thinking...I should do 'stupid' more often.

Gratitude today for my lack of thinking.

Gratitude, Hope & Smiles are meant to be shared,

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Reminders from God...

There are rewards for parenting, for maintaining patience, tenacity and strength, for sharing compassion, wisdom and love. Rewards beyond the satisfaction of making it through another day, witnessing great accomplishment or acts of human kindness in your children. Those moments are rewarding to be sure but are largely self generated. You get out of it, what you put in to it. That is the beauty of parenthood, your commitment to the project is mirrored in the person you send out into the world each day. Perhaps that is why we struggle so hard to get it right. We know we are not making a difference today but that today's decisions have the power to make a difference tomorrow and the next day and all the days that follow. The job is molding human beings who will either take what the world has to offer or give of themselves to make it a better place. That's a tough job.

We get wrapped up in the seriousness of it so much sometimes that we forget to laugh. We forget and out of the blue something fabulous happens. Something like the breaker blowing on the circuit that controls the bathroom outlets. There are no words that capture the horror in a teenage girl's voice when she thinks a beauty appliance has died. With a tripped breaker they are all dead. That is a show worth popcorn and goobers!

Gratitude today to God for his cleaver sense of humor. For reminding me to laugh. That joke is not going to be nearly as funny if it happens again today but yesterday it was brilliant. Thanks you!

Grateful Thursday...share your gratitude with the outside world... post, comment or tweet...lets share our reasons to smile!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I Did IT!!!

Small victories are good for the soul. Especially if you are trying to achieve one or two very large goals. It can be a very long span between launching a goal to pay down your credit cards and the day you do it. The distance between 'I want the corner office' and building maintenance hanging your placard can be years. The work involved in 'I want to put my kids through university' is a lot more challenging than all the diapers, late nights and grey hairs you will encounter along the way.

Those big goals are vital, they give you something to aim for, they give you purpose on those days when you are unsure of your place in the world. It is powerful to believe you have such control over your destiny and such ability to change the world around you. Just as important as endeavouring to reach a goal however, is the thrill of victory. The ego boost that comes with success will set your energy level on fire! The very act of achieving puts wind in your sails and sets you up to accomplish more. This is the reason I make my bed every morning...I need victory!

If the goal is something like writing a book, the victory dance can be a great many days in the future, no matter how many words you get down everyday. A person can only write so fast no matter how fast their brain rattles off material. The hurdles of editing, publishing, distribution and marketing lie in wait just beyond getting the words strung together, new goals to achieve. It could take a while and that is okay, great dreams are attained through time, opportunity and perseverance.

Having said that, I can't go that many days without accomplishment, without the thrill of achieving a goal. I need the fuel. So I set small very attainable goals to conquer along the way. Last week I learned to poach an egg! It took research, practice and took me 4 days, but I did it!

Look out world!

Gratitude today for small victories.

Gratitude Hope and Smiles are Meant to be shared,

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I Could Get Used To This

Lula surprised me on Friday with an invitation to the nail salon. It was a treat for my recent birthday, and it really was a treat because I don't do those things for myself, or rather... I do do those things for myself...myself. (that sentence almost made my brain bleed)

So it was a wonderful surprise! Not the getting my nails done part, although that was nice too, it reminded me of when she was little and I used to paint her toe nails like smarties to cheer her up if she was sad. The nice surprise was that she asked. The nice surprise was that Lula wanted to do this with me! We've been in that place... that place you never think you are going to end up in when you are busy changing diapers and fixing ponytails. We were at the place of differences.

The place of differences is that span of time in which your teenage daughter thinks the best thing for her is the exact opposite of everything you say and the best place for her is anywhere you are not. It is the time span in which you wonder if the little girl who used to need you to tie her shoes really has the capacity to handle her own life. It is the time where you make a mental list of all the things you overlooked, failed to teach or downright forgot to tell her. Have you heard the forensic theory that says 'if you commit the perfect crime and replay it back in your head; for every one thing you realize you may have forgotten there are actually twenty five things you did.'? That is what it feels like, the place of differences, and I don't care if you are the most involved, dedicated, open, loving parent in the world at some point we all end up in the place of differences. You will bang your head against the wall, seek advise from anyone and everyone, you will cry and scream and you will nag and you will talk. You can equate your parental effectiveness to a 'do-nothing' and you will sound like the teacher from Charlie Brown. At one point I wasn't even listening to me anymore!

All along the way there were people wiser than me, those who had gone before me into the abyss who said "just keep talking, just keep hugging, just keep loving". I'll be honest here I spent a lot of time nodding my head and thinking to myself... "do you remember being here? Nobody can come out alive or at the very least remotely as sane as they went in! Did the fumes of teenage angst affect your memory?" These people all said "They come back" and in my head I thought "Not mine, I've outdone myself in the alienation department."

But they do, and that was the surprise.

Gratitude today to all the people who went before me who said it would happen, I apologize for questioning your mental stability. You were right and thank you for believing it would happen for me too. Yes, I know this might only be a visit. (I'm surprised, not stupid) but I can glimpse days to come and it makes me smile.

Gratitude to my Lula for inviting me along, for surprising me. I want you to know that in the Place of Differences, when you thought I was only nagging, I was also watching you grow. You've given me a lot to worry about but oodles more to be proud of....I think you are going to turn out ok ;)

To God, Mother nature, and the Overlords of adolescent/parental survival....gratitude for spacing my children far enough apart that I get to do this one at a time! one down, two to go.

Gratitude, Hope and Smiles are meant to be shared (so are stories of surviving)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thursday...Your Turn @ The Table

It is very early in the morning, I've just toasted the sunrise with my second steaming cup of coffee. Upstairs I know there is a child sleeping who is not feeling well today, one with sore muscles from a day of track and field and one who did not sleep well last night thinking about all that today will hold. There is rustling in the bedroom above me, Mike getting ready for another day of work. The dog has convinced me that breakfast before 6am is a great idea and is celebrating his victory by sharing his kibbles with the cat.

Gratitude today for the calm before the storm.

It's Thursday, time to get around the table and ask everyone to share...add a comment tell us what you are grateful for today.

Gratitude, Hope and Smiles are meant to be shared,

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Taking on Faceless Burgers, Shawn Warden and Dreams

Somebody is aways challenging me, most of the time it is Mike or the kids, they challenge me to make creative suppers and get Saturday's BBQ off of their favourite white t-shirt. They challenge my memory, my knowledge of nothing and yes even my patience on occasion. I challenge myself a lot too but it is very unusual to be handed a challenge by someone outside of the DNA network. My friend Shawn Warden stepped into the ring yesterday to challenge me. My challenge... to incorporate Shawn Warden and faceless burgers into a random blog post....piece of cake (I hope!)

...and GO!

Most everything that crosses my path ends up re-used, recycled, handed down or trashed. I am not one to 'hold on' to things, I don't see the point. All those things just take up space where new things can go. I like new things. Having said this you should know there is a baggy filled with bread clips in my junk drawer and I have one area of extreme horderness...magazines! They are everywhere in our home, the bathroom, bedroom, livingroom, kitchen, laundry room, closets, cupboards, baskets, boxes, bins and drawers. I have so many even the dog is disgusted and eats them whenever he gets an opportunity. Most of them I have not read, some of them are still in the plastic sleeve (move over first edition comic book collectors) A few have earned their way onto the bookshelf because they are so used and loved. New ones come every month and I add them to the pile. I know, I have a problem.

*gulp* the tip of the iceburg

Fortunately I have friends with solutions!

Enter my good friend Patti, preparing for a team building/personal development workshop at her home this week. "I need some magazines" she said. "I have those!" I said (thank you universe for addressing my shame). With a tear in my eye I packed up my magazines and followed half the stash over to Patti's house. The magazines and some really great people were in for a new outlook on life. Twenty of us hacked those glossy pages apart in a exercise of building Dream Panels. We covered brightly coloured bristol board with images and words of all the things we would have if we could have anything. Which by the way, you can. It really is as easy as knowing what you want and letting the world be aware of your desires.

We don't have a problem going to a restaurant and telling the waiter exactly what we want and expecting that exact thing to end up in front of us. We don't have a problem telling the master of the BBQ that we prefer faceless burgers. The waiter wants you to be happy he brings what you want, the grill master wants you to be happy and reserves you a spot on the grill for your vegetarian option. All you had to do was ask.

I loved watching everyone putting their desires out there for the world to see. We have done this at home with our family a few times over the years, it's always exciting. Some people don't even know what they want before they get started, some people know what they want but don't know how to articulate it. We spend after all, a great deal of our lives believing that we should not ask for things, that we might not deserve everything we desire...nothing could be further from the truth. With great things you can do great things!

The truth is this; 'We are all deserving of fulfilling our desires, we all have the power to make dreams come true.' This is also true; 'the dream you have the power to make come true will not be your own, most people spend  their lives being the catalyst that fulfills another's dream, whether you know you have or not.'

My friend Shawn Warden can tell you that our lives invade the lives of others. It can't be helped, somebody's faceless burger is going to drip on your face-burger. The results could be a great combination!

Gratitude today for the help to purge my habit, the opportunity to see other people's dreams out in the open, and the excitement of seeing who's dream I might play a part in. Even if that dream is just to see your name mentioned alongside the phrase 'faceless burgers'

(which by the way wasn't really a challenge; I once used Mike, Mickey Rourke and Nano in the same sentance...THAT, was a challenge! ;)

Gratitude, Hope and Smile are meant to be shared,

Friday, June 1, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me

This is me in my last frontal nudity shot
Forty two, that is how old I am today. My kids think I am ancient my friends think I've still got a ways to go.  I think that for the first time ever in 42 year I am exactly where I want to be.

That is a very strange feeling best explained perhaps by how I used to feel. I used to feel like I was never going to grow up, that I was never going to grasp the responsibilities and nuances of adulthood. I harboured an innate understanding that I was not real in my life. That my friends and family were doing 'grown up' with a capability that I simply did not process. Even standing in the middle of my own living room surrounded by my life, home, furnishings, bills, husband and kids tugging at my pant legs I always held the feeling inside that I was an impostor, a little kid playing grown-up. Feeling like somebody else was surly better suited for the job. I have spent a great deal of my adult life wondering when I was going to grow up.

I wondered  a lot about those women who walk with great confidence and reach out to people they know and strangers alike. What did their parents do to instill such poise and command in them and how can I teach that to my own children. I want them to grow up to be those people comfortable enough in their own skin to wear their hearts on the outside regardless of the opinion of others. I want to be that person. I have spend 42 years wondering if that will ever be me, if I will ever be comfortable, confident and unafraid. How long does it take to develop an appreciation of yourself?

It has taken me 42 years.

To arrive at that place I thought belonged to everybody else, I am finally feeling empowered and deserving of the life other grown ups are enjoying. I am growing faith in a place where fear used to be, understanding where there was only inadequacy and sharing my joy outwardly instead of believing that I am not big enough to make a difference in the world.

I am going to celebrate my birthday today for the first time ever. It took some time, 42 years to be exact but I made it  to my own party. Pour me a drink and turn up the music this is going to be fun.

...and I know what to say to my kids now... Be patient.

Have a happy Friday everyone! Gratitude, Hope and Smiles are meant to be shared,