97091042-7CF0-4E9F-876E-419CA848A857Smiling is something we all have the ability to do, but some smiles are more natural than others. We have threatened many a kid with a forced grin, but what strikes me as I look back across our two weeks out together is how genuine their smiles are.

Each and everyone of my peeps are grinning from ear to ear.  Virtually every photo we took, even in the outtakes, our family was looking pretty happy.  Having logged many an hour in our truck, our kids and our new puppy keep smiling.

This tells me a couple of things:

Its easy to tell a forced smile from a genuine smile.

And secondly, a genuine smile from someone can turn any bad day around.

I will always have these pictures to go by.  I have no memory on my own, sadly, so I document my memories with photographs.  I’ll have a collection of pictures to remind me how happy we were this year on this trip.


How happy we were that we took a week away from scheduled football training to make a bonding trip happen between a father and a son.  Even this picture below tells me the tiny bit of nervousness my oldest is feeling about this adventure …the smile tells me he is a bit unsure.


But when I compare it to the end of the trip. . .I’m more than confident he figured out that we knew what we were doing all along.  We earned his respect along the way.


Weights were brought along in the back truck bed to keep up with the workouts and to be sure no time was really lost, but I cannot say the same if we had stayed in town and ditched this road trip.

This trip meant a lot to me.  Having a rising 9th grader, close to tweenager,  and a Senior Kindergartener, I just knew that we needed this summer to lock in a few more family moments before we let our kids loose to experience the big world on their own.

I’m home now and all I have is this memory of a trip to look back on.   I can promise you this:  these smiles can turn my bad day around in a heartbeat.



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