Please ignore the weeping woman. She’ll get it together in 3, 2, …. Oh hell. There she goes again.

Have you seen such a woman? One you see desperately trying to compose herself during some performance or sports event where her progeny has done something that seems to have sent her to boo hoo town? I realize you are unable to look away, but please try to do so for her sake. She will be ever so grateful for your kindness as she makes an utter fool of herself. You are unable to understand what in the wide world of sports is going on with her, I know. You are also watching your kiddo who is doing amazing things up there/out there. And you are smiling with pride. You aren’t falling apart with tears leaking from your eyes, fluids of a nastier sort leaking from your nose, sometimes audibly boo freaking hooing like a helpless, pathetic sap. This is because you are a normal sort. Don’t try to understand. It can’t be done. That bizarre woman falling apart is me and this is my inner monologue.

This time is going to be different. I’ve totally got this. Anna is going to be adorable with all that earnestness up there and it’s going to bring me to my knees, but I’ve just got to be stronger than that. Come ON! You can do it. Look around you. That’s a crowd of regular people. People that are going to look at you and wonder what in the world is wrong with you if you can’t hold it together. So HOLD IT TOGETHER. If not for your kid — and listen, you really need to hold it together for your kid!! But if not for your kid, do it for your own damn self. Geez! You suck. Wait, this is supposed to be a pep talk. OK, you can do this. You are a strong person. This time is totally going to be different than ALL the other times. ALL other 5 billion times. You can do it. OK, the kids are on the stage. But Anna doesn’t see you, so that’s bound to help. Oh SHIT! She just found you and waved adorably. OK, wave back. Smile warmly but keep it nonchalant. That was … ok. You failed horribly on the nonchalant part with your hyperactive waving, but it’s Anna. She’s still young and will forgive you. Now, settle in. It’s going to be a long performance and you’ve got a shit ton of tears to suppress. It would be great if you could actually enjoy the entire performance, but you’ll be lucky to enjoy Anna’s parts what with all the choking back of emotion. If you have to, stare at someone’s ear or find a piece of scenery to study during a particularly bad stretch. That should get your mind refocused. Here’s Anna’s part!! GOOD! You’re smiling!! With pride!! That’s totally nor…..WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT? WAS THAT A HUGE DELUGE OF TEARS THAT JUST BURST OUT OF YOUR EYES? Are you now streaming goo out of your nose? OH SWEET JESUS???? WAS THAT AN AUDIBLE SOB/HICCUP COMBINATION?????? Leave now!! No, you are NOT inconspicuous! EVERYONE is looking at you!! No, you are NOT GETTING YOURSELF UNDER CONTROL!! LEAVE NOW!! NOW!!!!!! For the love of all that is sane and good! For your daughter’s sanity!! Also? Please begin searching for children’s therapists.

Fortunately, I’ve gotten this under control with JT and haven’t cried at an event of his for about a year or so. MAYBE EVEN LONGER THAN THAT! It’s a damn good thing as he’ll be 13 in a couple of months. He’d just flat out refuse to let me attend any event EVER. I have to assume that I won’t have this crying thing banished when it comes to something as monumental as graduation events, so I’ll begin working on disguises now as I WILL be attending. I can cry as much as I want to, and if someone asks me who I’m there to see, I’ll just point to a random administrator or teacher/professor or the facilities folks. Let’s face it — somebody should be there for the facilities folks. Cleaning up after those crazy-ass kids. But, I digress. Anyway, I’ll start babbling all eccentric-like which won’t be a big stretch for me, and I’ll really throw everyone off the scent. And then I’ll just repeat the whole process with Anna. Voilà! Hmmmmm, weddings. That’s going to be a whole ‘nother problem to solve…

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