This I Believe

Miranda - Lake Oswego, Oregon
Entered on January 23, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

This I Believe

I ran, kicking up sand as I went. Her footsteps got closer. The grunts coming from her throat were soft yet they made me quicken my step. Suddenly I tripped and hot sand stung my face. Tears swelled in my eyes. She came skipping up to me, tail wagging, tongue hanging, and a big puppy smile on her monochromatic face. I pet my dog’s silky ears as I clipped the long leash to her thin leather collar. Together we trotted back to the rented beach house. “This is going to be a great spring break,” I grinned at her, as we made sand fly past other people’s picnics.

I believe in the power of a smile.

Jess, my dog, barked as I rang the door bell twice. Mom came to the door and unlocked it, letting us walk into the cool house. As I wiped my feet and towel-dried the dog, Mom whispered something in my ear. My mood suddenly fell as I turned the corner and entered the living room. Isabella, my sister, seventeen at the time, curled herself tighter in the soft blue fuzzy blanket as she sat up on the couch to sip some hot tea. Dad, stood from his place next to her, letting me sit there.

I thought of what I should say. “I’m sorry. I know how much you wanted to get into Columbia University.” Or how about: “There are a lot of other colleges out there.” Deciding to settle on a joke, I began, “What did one snowman say to the other snowman?” She simply shrugged. “Do you smell carrots?” I told her. A small smile appeared on her face. It then turned into a big grin. With a hug, she thanked me. By dinnertime she was back to her cheerful self, and part of me thinks that was my doing.

About a year ago, my best friend in the whole wide world, Courtney, hurt her hip in soccer. Being the top defender on our soccer team, she had much responsibility. It all happened when we were playing another team with a girl who was about 5’ 6”. I remember her dad yelling from the sidelines and I couldn’t understand him because of his Russian words. The girl stole the ball and headed towards the goal. Courtney stood there, blocking the Russian girl’s path. The two of them collided. Her leg got hyper-extended causing some of the ligaments in her hip to tear. After going through dozens of physical therapy sessions, the doctors realized she needed surgery. Being on bed rest for almost two months, Courtney wasn’t able to play her favorite sport this year. While on bed rest I visited her frequently. Sometimes her sadness overwhelms her making her wish soccer had never been a part of her life, but I remind her of all the memories and good times she had while playing her favorite sport. This always makes her smile. Now, although she has been through so much in the last year, she just keeps smiling. Finally she is back at school, but on crutches.

Smiling at others cheers them up. It is hard for me to stay sad when friends, dogs, or family members make me smile. So whether you didn’t get into your preferred college, hurt your hip playing your favorite sport, or land face-first in the sand, the only thing you can do is keep smiling. I believe in the power of a smile.