A note before we get to the goods. At last week's big wedding, I had a conversation with Melissa that feels very fitting for the preface to this post. For one reason or another, we were talking about our crying patterns. I can't say that I'm not much of a cryer--because the same things set me off every time. Stress at work, teaching a church lesson, or reality television arcs of personal inspiration or achievement. (See The Biggest Loser or The Olympics.) Some people well up at movies that move them or shed tears of joy at weddings. Apparently I'm only wired to weep when a major weight milestone is reached or Bob Costas has some insane voice over documentary about the Chinese pairs skaters.
I never said I wasn't complicated. I've been dreading today's post for quite a few days, but I've come up with that resonates for me. Try not to cry, okay?
A song that makes you cry (or nearly)
Scene: Mother's Day, 2000
Four days before I graduated a year early from High School. That last semester of school had been somewhat of a whirlwind; taking Saturday school classes to earn enough credits to graduate a year early, working part-time for work-study credit, and traveling to local, state, and national-level DECA and speech competitions (Wow, so so geeky.).
While traveling, I missed the announcement and practice sessions the Young Men and Young Women of my ward held to ready their Sacrament Meeting singing of that hit Primary classic "Love is Spoken Here" to be sung on Mother's Day. Having sung that song since before the womb, I marched up to the front with my other friends and wardmates and waited for the music to start.
I'm not really sure if I lost it before the first words, or during the first line--but I'm pretty positive I didn't even make it through the first verse before I just stood there and cried. And cried. I probably mouthed the words but no recognizable tune could have escaped my lips had I even tried.
That scene of my story happened ten years ago next month. In hindsight, I can more easily identify the feelings that song provoked in me. On the eve of my full-on launch into adulthood, that song served as one last final reminder that I'd been born of goodly parents and raised in a kind, loving home that all too soon I'd be leaving.
In the past month, I've spent a considerable time one-on-one with my parents. We played for three days in New York City while my dad was there for a conference and then I spent eight days at home in Portland last week. Coming from a family of four daughters, it isn't often we get to play that coveted game of "Only Child." How much fun we had together! Sure we had some visitors while I was in PDX (Julie + Greg for Easter and seven bridesmaids the night before the wedding), my favorite moments were the early morning (!!) moments making boutineers with my mom or driving to work with my dad. We made sure no one ever had to drink alone and spent time figuring out our new state-of-the-art phones. We talked about work, and church work, and yard work. We hiked and ate at Chevy's and found great bagels in NYC. I'm convinced the world would be a peaceful place if everyone had the kind of adult relationship with their parents that I do with mine.
So the me of 10 years ago cried during that song. I'm not altogether convinced I wouldn't cry again given a chance to "sing" it again this year.