It’s a mundane Monday morning, but I just had the best pick-me-up I can imagine.

Out running errands. An eye exam – at 45 I finally need the lowest power reading glasses. (You’re welcome, dining companions who’ve kindly been holding up the menu across the table for me to read.)

And then Home Goods, which gave me my first earful of “Silllllver belllllls…” this season. Seems everyone is already out Christmas shopping, so I got into a rather long line to buy two very unimportant things. I settled in, and looked around at the thoroughly unenticing impulse-buy items like mini-Kleenex imprinted with Santas and candy canes that they’re hoping we suckers will snag en route to the register.

The lady in front of me was the reddest-haired, freckliest-faced human I’ve ever seen, and she was pushing a jogging stroller with a baby in a bucket popped in. When she turned the corner in line, I could see the little fella (at least I think it was a boy!), who had light blue eyes and strawberry blond hair. I figure him for about 4 or 5 months old. Adorable, happy, looking all around. He finally noticed his mama in front of him and gave her a longing glance. She was holding a light blue Christmas stocking, ostensibly for baby’s first Christmas, and when she noticed him looking up at her, she moved the stocking closer to him, draping it over the stroller handle so he could see it. He checked out the baby blue decorated stocking—first eying down, and then up—and at the very top he saw his mama’s face again. And as he saw her, his lips flickered and then broke into that delicious 100,000-watt toothless grin that only babies can make. One of my favorite memories is my babies doing the exact same thing every morning in their cribs when they would see their mama, their eyes all crinkled up with delight and their cheeks looking like they were about to explode. It always made me recall the fluorescent overhead light in my grandparents’ basement—you’d flip on the wall switch, the light would flicker a few times and then illuminate fully. I swear, my babies’ grins could light up Manhattan!

I couldn’t help but smile. All the way home. That baby made my day, and kicked off my whole week on a joyful note. Wishing you a sweet unexpected moment somewhere in your week!

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