New tennis shoes are walking up my street--slowly. They are headed to the bus stop. Yep, first day of school. All over facebook parents are putting up their thoughts on how the morning is going. Reports of tears from the first time moms are surprisingly light. Well, surprising to them.
One mom wondered if the lack of tears was from exhaustion. Or maybe because she'd done it before with her older child. Or maybe because her little one was just "so darned happy".
I pick door number three. It's kind of hard to be sad when they insist on being "so darned happy". Robert graduated from grad school in May, but I remember the day we moved him into his dorm like it was yesterday. After all the moving and hauling and arranging, me and Mike and the younger two were pulling away from Robert's new home. His dorm was having an ice cream social in the front courtyard and as we backed out of the parking space he plunged into the midst of other new students - excitement and anticipation pulsating off him. And my tears just dried right up. He was just "so darned happy".
My best memory of Ryan's wedding day was his grin. Ryan is a happy person anyway - he's always smiling. But on his wedding day his grin was ridiculous - the whole day. How could I feel anything but overwhelming joy?
And shopping with Lizzy yesterday for her apartment. Apartment - not dorm room. Her apartment with a real kitchen and a real living room. Her new home. How do I claim any regret or sadness when she's becoming a wonderful woman? I try, but then she asks me to teach her to cook or buy some silverware. And there's that "so darned happy" grin.
My parents gave me the most wonderful gift of never getting in the way of my times being "so darned happy". They never made it about them and so I never gave their feelings a second thought. Just wallowed in the fact that they obviously were just "so darned happy" for me - besides what could they possibly be sad about???
Now I know the truth - a child's "so darned happy" is them pulling at the strings that tie them to us and us opening our hands and letting that string go.