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June 9, 2005

Pomp and Circumstance

I know, I know, there are a couple of juicy stadium articles in today's papers. I will have to comment on them around lunch. Yesterday, however, my second son graduated from kindergarten:

andgrad.jpg
My son with his teacher

At first I thought a kindergarten graduation ceremony was a little silly. I mean, what are we supposed to say to the new graduates? "Congratulations! You've got at least 12 more years of school!" But as the ceremony progressed I gotta admit I got a little choked up. Seeing all these innocent little kids so proud of themselves, and seeing all the parents with their video cameras and digital cameras ... well, let's just say there was a lot of love in the room.

Then my son got his "diploma." When he walked up to the stage and shook his teachers' hand, I got a little verklempt. There is no shame in that. I have no trouble admitting it. My boy is graduating from kindergarten! For a parent, maybe even more than the child, this is a big stepping stone to "growing up." Of course, I tried not to let my emotion get the best of me, but I was all smiles and cheers for my little boy.

It got me to thinking, as I've gotten older and my kids have gotten older, I've found myself getting more emotional over a lot of things actually. Is this a troubling development, or should I just say screw it and let it all hang out?

It reminded me of a passage in a book I'm reading, The Plot Against America by Philip Roth. It is a great, great book by a Pulitzer award winning author about an alternate history that has Lindbergh defeating Roosevelt in 1940 and what that could have meant for the Jewish population in America. In the book, one of the characters is wounded in the war while fighting for Canada, and the father of the narrator of the book goes to visit the wounded soldier. When the father comes back he is pretty torn up about it and he breaks down and starts to cry in front of his family. The author writes:

It was the first time I saw my father cry. A childhood milestone, when another's tears are more unbearable than one's own.

I think that is beautiful. I love it when an author really nails an emotion, not by being too wordy, but with the most elegant turn of phrase, "A childhood mileston, when another's tears are more unbearable than one's own." It invokes so many thoughts: the macho father, the embarassment, the hero worship, the trust that your parents know everything. And, of course, the realization that your parents are human, with human emotions and feelings. Needless to say, I was touched by this simple passage.

It makes me think about my own dad and the times I've seen him emotional. I can probably only remember 4-5 times I've seen him cry. I won't get into any details, but the fact that I can remember these times so distinctly just goes to show how powerful these moments were.

I don't know where I'm going with this. It is just food for thought, I guess. How many times are my kids going to see me cry? Should I let my true emotions out, or should I keep them to myself like so many fathers before me and keep these moments powerful? Truthfully I'm leaning towards the macho man strategy, but as my kids get older I may have to abandon that because I may not be able to hold it in. I mean, I almost started crying during my son's kindergarten graduation ceremony! How pathetic!


• Be sure to check out Stick and Ball Guy today as he has yet another example of the media's sickening love affair with the "Face of Baseball," Derek Jeter. And your's truly takes part in a round table discussion on Mr. Cheer or Die's Viking Underground concerning Fran Tarkenton's victory in the "Vikings Greatest Draft Pick Tournament." See you around lunch!

Posted by snackeru at June 9, 2005 7:32 AM | Life

Comments

Shane: Our sons will see us cry plenty this year and next. When the Twins win the WS, when the Vikes when the SB, when ground is broken for the Twins stadium, and when ground is broken for the Vikes stadium.

Posted by: Brian Maas at June 9, 2005 10:14 AM

Oh boy, Brian's been playing his Playstation again....

Shane, I agree that kids make you more emotional as they get older. Heck, when I found out we were having a girl, I immediately thought about walking her down the aisle and having the father/daughter dance and got misty eyed.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at June 9, 2005 11:20 AM

I must be a pretty emotional guy, as my kids see me crying frequently. Just last weekend I was bawling my eyes out at the end of "Field of Dreams," which always makes my cry regardless of how many times I have seen it! Of course, they also have seen me cry at funerals, although I manage to avoid weeping at weddings.

In regards to COD's comment about crying at the end of a Viking Super Bowl win, I really have no idea how I would react to such an occurence. I would probably stare dumb-founded at the TV in complete shock, as the clock reached zero. What a pleasant feeling that would be, however...

Curt in Grand Forks

Posted by: Curt Hanson at June 9, 2005 11:40 AM

Curt, thinking about you "bawling your eyes out" watching Field of Dreams gave me quite a chuckle. That is just hilarious!

And COD, if you are right this will be the most emotional year of my life. I better stock up on tissues. Honestly, I can't decide what I would rather see: the Twins in the WS, or the groundbreaking of a new Twins stadium. I think I'm leaning towards the latter, actually...

Posted by: Shane at June 9, 2005 1:07 PM

I wouwd wespond back to Cheesehead Cwaig's dispawaging wemawk but, awas, I am defective and being wecawwed. I thought my micwochip was acting funny the wast few days. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit! Must have been the cheese-cuwds, beew cheese soup, cheese sticks, and cheesy poof bawws that did me in, uh-hah-hah-hah.

Posted by: Brian Maas at June 9, 2005 1:23 PM

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