A Smile Can Say It All

Years ago, I was part of a two-man radio talk show team. Our show was called “Two Guys and a Radio Show” and, as you can tell from the title, we spared no expense in our use of creativity.

It was a good show. No, let me rephrase that. It was a GREAT show! (Emphasis added to make sure you understand just how great we thought our show was.). Ok, so it wasn’t syndicated like we hoped it would be. And we never made it to the bigger markets where one could make a grip of money for working about the same amount of time per day as a member of Congress. But needless to say, we did have fun and there were two interesting things that did happen during our time on the air.

The first thing that happened was that my first grandchild was born during this time and we did a call into my daughter’s room while on the air. It was really cool because here we had, on the one hand, my daughter Munchkin who was still kind of tired from trying to push something the size of a watermelon out her body via a passageway the size of a walnut and on the other hand we had my sleeping, and quite beautiful I may add, granddaughter who I christened Pebbles.

So we call the hospital and let them know who we are and what we are doing. The reason we had to tell the hospital that we were going on the air is that there is some sort of legal thingy that says we had to and that the station’s attorney threatened to tell Mrs. Nickels if we didn’t follow the rules.

The call is made, we get through the hospital switchboard and into my daughter’s room. We can hear the phone ring on the air and then this groggy voice says “Uh….Hello.”

“Hey Munchkin,” I said “Now, before you say anything. I’m calling you from the studio and I have to let you know you are on the air. So hold down your famous “Don’t talk to me before I’ve had my coffee” vocabulary.

“Daddy, I was asleep,” she said.

“That’s okay. It wasn’t you I wanted to talk to. Put Pebbles on.”

“She’s asleep.”

“Well, wake her up,” I said while trying to get my daughter to do my nefarious bidding.

“Not gonna happen Old Man,” my daughter said. “Besides, she needs her sleep and so do I”

“But she’s my first Weasel,” I said while trying to work my way into getting Pebbles on the air.

It was about this time that my partner said “Too bad this isn’t TV because my partner here has the biggest grin on his face that you have ever seen. In fact, he doesn’t grin this big even when presented with a plate of freshly made tacos or cooked bacon. Being a grandpa apparently, agrees with you, Mr. Nickels.”

“Indeed it does, my friend,” I said by way of a reply. “Indeed it does.”

The other interesting thing that happened was that I also learned a little bit about myself.

See, it all started when we had our “Question of the Day” for that particular day’s show. Now most shows only let their question of the day last maybe an hour out of a four-hour show, but we were different. We let it run for the full 4 hours of our show and we also took a poll based on what people’s answers were to our question then we would read the results at the end of the show.

Well, this time, my partner came up with our question and I thought it was brilliant. The question was “If you were forced to give up one of your five senses, in order to save your life and the lives those around you, which one would it be?” We went back and forth with our listeners then it came time for us to answer the question. My radio partner said that he would give up his vision. When I asked him why; he said that he couldn’t handle missing beautiful classical music or hearing the sounds of nature that was already around him.

I told him that this was a no brainer. I’d give up my hearing in a heartbeat. When asked why I responded with “To give up reading all those wonderful books that are out there, to miss seeing a sunrise or sunset or looking at all of the things that God had put on this earth for our enjoyment would be too much for me”

My partner thought he would get me when he said “True, but if you gave up your hearing, you’d never hear Mrs. Nickels or your kids tell you they loved you.” He thought he had me with that one.

But what he didn’t know was my ability to read their smiles. I can tell when I am loved just by the expression on my kids or my wife’s face. When I do something out of the ordinary for them, like bring Mrs. Nickels lunch when she isn’t expecting it or when she is having a bad day and I send her flowers, or when my kids come home from school and the look on their collective mugs says “just shoot me and let’s get this day over with already” and I say “Hey, hop in the car, we are going to Starbucks to chill for a bit” I get what I call “The Smile”

“The Smile” is what I live for. It’s the look I can read with my eyes and vocal commentary is not necessary. It’s the smile that is mine, and mine alone. It’s the smile my wife gave me when we said our vows to each other at our wedding. It’s the smile beaming from their tiny faces that I got from each of my kids when I held them for the first time. It’s the smile I give each and every time I became a grandparent.

The reason I’d give up my hearing in a heartbeat to keep my vision is that my kids, grandkids and Mrs. Nickels don’t have to vocally tell me they love me…they just smile and I get the point.

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