The Sniffles Solution

My husband noticed it first.

“Did you notice Z smiles right after she sneezes?”

Huh? I had been too busy reaching for a tissue or thinking, Uh oh there’s another sneeze to notice Z’s smiles. Too busy worrying about her getting sick to notice a smile. Why would you smile anyways after a sneeze? Hmmm. I didn’t have to wait too long for the next sneeze. Sure enough a minute later, there it was.

A big sneeze. Followed by a blink. Then a Smile. The smile happened every time after a sneeze.

I know when I get allergies, I transform into an irritable, impatient mess. Everything bothers me, and smiles are the last thing on my mind, especially right after a sneeze.

Z kept up the smiles after the sneezes, which taught me even if you’re feeling crummy, and life throws you a few sniffles or sneezes, Pause. Blink. Smile.


“Your smile for your brother is charity.” – Prophet Muhammad (Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3, Number 98)


  1. BEAUTIFUL!!!! Thank you, Z. And Reem.

    She obviously follows the cheerful, inspired example of her parents…who may not smile after sneezing, but certainly exude happiness in other ways…

  2. That’s really beautiful, and a great lesson. I also become irritable with allergies – but children are so in tune with the excitement and surprise of a sneeze that it can cause a smile. I will try to remember that 🙂

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