Commentary by Danielle Wilson
I am not a crier. Never have been. I don’t know if it’s because I grew up with four sisters and, in an effort to distinguish myself from the herd, decided to lock that emotional shtick down, or if it’s thanks to my 50 percent British blood that left me with a bit too much Yorkshire stoicism. Regardless, I rarely get weepy. But lately, I’ve noticed myself tearing up at the stupidest times.
Have you seen the new Volkswagen commercial with the family traveling cross-country to deliver the grandfather’s ashes to the Pacific? Oh, my. Throat-clogger. Or the Principal Financial one where the dad has to quit school because his girlfriend gets pregnant, then 20-odd years later graduates, right behind his son? Gulp. Can’t go there. At least I can blame these moments of weakness on the magical manipulators of marketing. They get paid to know exactly where to sucker-punch you.
But the other day I was sitting in the always-long drive-thru line of Chick-Fil-A, opening the mail, and out of the blue I begin full-on sobbing into my steering wheel. The culprit? Graduation information from the high school! I mean, seriously! I’m counting the days until “Geoff-Geoff” is on his merry way, out the door and onto independent, adult living. But between the dorm-fridge raffle announcement and information on cap and gown pick-up, all I could do was think about my first baby boy. Toe-headed and talking at an elevated level to be heard above his invasive twin siblings. Playing 5-year-old rec soccer for the Green Power Rangers and being the tallest kid on the field. Breaking his collarbone in a pick-up football game at a Derby party and our telling him to “Shake it off, you’ll be fine.” Jeeze-Louise, I’m choking up as I type!
I pride myself on keeping my emotions in check, but this graduating from high school thing has me worried. I much prefer a sappy Hallmark ad.