My kids are impressive.
No, not just because they’re my kids, although let’s be honest, that doesn’t hurt either.
When I look at their childhood resumes, they’re nothing to sneeze at. They’ve good piano players, my daughter has been on her school’s volleyball and basketball teams for years, my son is great at baseball. They are smart, they do well at school. There are report cards and teacher’s praises and book reports and recitals. They’ve overcome fear and pain and tested to the orange belt and beyond in karate.
Every day I feel so blessed to be their mother.
But there was a moment when I felt the pang of parental pride so acute that I was surprised it didn’t have a musical accompaniment. Like last fall when my son was having a hard time. He’s 10 and he remembered suddenly, at the end of the day, that it was the anniversary of my parents’ dog’s death. It hit him hard. He didn’t know what to do with the tears– the dog died years ago, he hadn’t cried last year, after all, he may not have even realized the anniversary then, but this year he did, he remembered and it hurt.
“Come sit with me,” I called out to him, patting a spot on the sofa beside me. He shook his head. And headed into his sister’s room. I watched from a distance as he entered her room and at first she didn’t look up from her laptop. Something Rhiana-ish was playing on iTunes and she was fully absorbed.
“I-” he started and I saw her look up from the screen. Her face changed when she saw his tears, and she forgot about her laptop, muted the singing. “What is it?” she said, and ran to him. She embraced him and sat him down and they talked. And they cried, both of them, he because he was mourning one of the first deaths he had ever experienced and she because she shared his pain. And in those minutes when they sat together, talking and sharing and comforting and eventually laughing, I felt pride stronger than any report card or medal could offer. My children love each other, they support each other and they can cry together.
What else could a mother ask for?
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One year ago ...