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Which Parenting Moments Leave You in Tears?

Pardon the melodrama, but sometimes being a parent makes you cry. And not always the pull-your-hair-out or I’ve-failed-again tears. Happy tears! Some situations stir up happy tears.

The Fall is one time of the year that can trigger these happy tears, especially if you’ve got a 4-, 5- or 6-year-old off to school, real school, for the first time. Though the first day of preschool can also bring on the waterworks,  if you’re like me and emotional during big transitions. Even first time at a new daycare leaves me dabbing away drips of mascara. I know, I’m weak.

So since my middle kid just started Kindergarten and my youngest a new daycare, I’ve seen the business side of a handkerchief more than I care to this week. But it’s not just pushing kids into the care of others that make me feel wistful and proud and happy and bummed all at once. There are other kid milestones that do/did the same.

Over at SFGate, Peter Hartlaub lists the moments that leave him weepy: first time his kids wear a backpack, first time they sat through a movie, last night in a crib, any time they’re with his parents. His commenters list theirs: first time finishing a big hike, moving “kid” into the dorms, each month when the daycare bill arrives.

I know moms who cried the last time they nursed each kid. I know dads who wept the first time they held their babies. I tear up during any performance my kid is in — I don’t care how small a role, how insignificant the performance. I also cried the first time my oldest rode a carnival ride by herself, during each of my kids’ first shots (though I blame breastfeeding hormones for that). I even cried once during a parent-teacher conference, much to the horror of my daughter and my husband. (That one I blame on the fact that I was 9+ months pregnant. To the teacher’s credit, he kept right on talking as if every mom sobbed when her child’s progress is praised.)

I’m also apt to start sniffling when reading to my kids — but that’s more a credit to the author than the fact that I’m a parent, though some kid situations weigh more heavily on me now as a mom than they may have had I read them as a kid (see: Junie B. Jones. … I know!).

Give us your grown-up cry baby moments. Nothing sad! What happy/poignant/wistful things make you cry?

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Photo: gospelcrumbs.com

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