I am not one to cry. I just wasn't drawn that way. Things that normally make others misty eyed just don't faze me. Did I cry at my wedding? Nope. Or at the birth of any of my four boys? No, no, no and no. The last movie that made me cry was Stone Fox. I was eight. But before you think me a heartless cynic, I will confess that there is one thing that is guaranteed to turn on the waterworks.
Well, it's not just the parade. It's watching my children watch parades. I have attended umpteen parades in last decade of parenting, but I couldn't tell you specifics from any of them. Of course, there are lights and characters and wacky entertainers, but those details are pretty vague. The happy memories that I keep tucked away for a gloomy day are of my children. Little upturned faces, with wide eyes and expectant smiles. A story of delight is written in their expressions. Could there be anything more beautiful?
I confess these are not the most flattering pictures of me. A mother whose eyes are brimming with happy tears is practically picturesque. But, my gleeful emotions were threatening to overflow into the ugly cry and I was trying to contain it. The ugly cry is just not suitable for public.
As a parent, I have the most awesome task of framing my children's perception of the world. Whether it be a parade, or an ancient monument, or a great work of art, it is a living lesson that they are citizens of a world filled with wonder. It is a way to say without words: "Go! Grab Hold! Savor every moment! Be Inspired!"
When they experience for the first time something that delights and inspires, their little lives are stamped with a newness that opens a door of possibilities. And to have a front row seat to something as miraculous as that. Well, if that doesn't fill your emotions to overflowing, then nothing ever will.