that's right...she'd already seen it with Dad, so she came along with me so I could too), I hardly thought I'd need Kleenex. Of course, it's not like I don't always have some on me with little noses around. Good thing I did.
Let me start by saying, that under normal circumstances, I cry at the drop of the dime. Sappy songs, corny commercials, soap operas, hell, I still cry at the end of Return of the King (yes, Lord of the Rings geek here) even though I've seen Frodo sail off with the elves on screen and read the book more times than I can keep track of. For some reason though, I've never been overly weepy over the kids. I have no idea why either. I never shed a tear when either of them were born, though of course, I laid in my hospital bed beaming each time. When I dropped SweetPea off for her first day at daycare when she was 12 weeks old, not a single drop. Not the first time they both went off to preschool, not the first time I heard either say "Momma"...nada. Imagine my surprise then, when at the end of the latest Toy Story movie I found myself, my little girl in my lap, all dolled up in her new pink princess dress, yellow Pinkalicious plastic crown she'd gotten in a Burger King meal, oh yes, and a pair of pink Chuck Taylors, completely losing it. I'm talking big, fat tears rolling down my face in streams. I had to fumble through my purse in the dark for the packet of travel Kleenex and pray that she didn't notice and ask why I was crying. Luckily I was able to compose myself by the time we stepped out of the theater (thank goodness for a long, amusing set of movie credits).
So why WAS I crying anyway? Without spoiling the end of the movie for anyone who still needs to see it, let's just say in the end, Andy, the little boy from the two prior movies is all grown up and about to drive off to college. How he says his final goodbyes to his toy friends as he is leaving is what set me off. For the first time in her almost four and a half years, I actually pictured SweetPea packing up herself to leave home. I know sometimes, we'll joke about having the house all to ourselves again someday and how quiet and relaxing that will be, the truth is, I'm nowhere close to being ready for that day. Of course, that's a long way off. Or is it? I still remember one of my good friends walking his six year old sister to school every morning when we were in high school...and now she's all grown up, has gone to college and even worked in the White House through an entire administration. The Man's nephew, who was under a year old when I first met him just after we were married is in high school and is on the verge of releasing a CD with his band. Seeing the movie finally brought home the point a lot of Moms with older kids have been trying to tell me...my babies aren't going to be this small forever and as frustrated as I get sometimes that they still rely on me to do so much, someday soon, they won't need me for much of anything...and someday, they'll go out into the world all on their own, without me there 24/7 to show them the way. So, OK, I also don't want to have the kids who will live in my basement until they are 35, coming up to eat dinner every night or raid my fridge, but, I think you get my point.
In a little over a year, SweetPea will be heading off to Kindergarten. If I got this upset over a freaking animated movie, I have a feeling the first day of school I'm going to need a box of tissue. Maybe even two.