Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sappy Days

This past weekend was tough for me. Between Hilary's graduation, Erika's first theater production, and her first 5k, I was spent. Emotionally drained. Why?

I'm a sap.

This may come as a surprise, but I'm about as sappy as it gets. From the first notes of "Pomp and Circumstance," I'm sunk. Tearing away. Last week, I caught a glimpse of Hilary's class rehearsing their graduation ceremonies, and just watching all those little 6-year-olds file into the chapel was enough to make me start bawling.

Thursday night was Hilary's official graduation from preschool, and though I'm sure Amy will write about it imminently, I'll just share how unbelievably proud I felt sitting in the audience.

But frankly, I'm not sure why. I certainly had nothing to do with it; I wasn't in any way responsible for her being up on that stage. She did it herself (with some financial assistance and guidance from her parents). But something about seeing her walk down the aisle and sit beaming on the stage just made my heart swell.

On Saturday we saw Erika's first on-stage performance in Seussical, and I couldn't stop the tears every time I saw her on stage (thankfully, it was only twice). But it was more than just Erika. As the cast gathered on stage for their final curtain call, the tears kept coming. And not just for Erika, but for all the kids up there.

Then on Sunday, we ran in our school district's 5k. Afterword, Declan and Hilary ran in the "track trot," a short run around the high school's bus circle. They got "medals" (actually, they were buttons). They were thrilled. I was weepy.

I think it's similar to the feelings I get whenever I see one of my kids slighted in any way (like on the playground...). I feel their sadness, embarrassment, dejection. And when I see my kids, or my nieces, or any kid, for that matter, up on stage, accomplishing something, anything, I feel their pride.

Nothing makes me happier than when Declan comes running to me with a drawing from school, pride oozing from every pore. Or when Ronan shows me a page in a coloring book, his preschool scribbles (almost) contained within the lines. And if that's all it takes to inspire them now, I can't imagine the joy they'll feel when it's them up on that stage, getting their preschool "diplomas" or acting in their first play or scoring their first goal in a soccer game (or maybe not).

The truth is, I don't mind being a sap. I love every minute of it.

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