So, I’m sitting in front of my Internets minding my own business—reading Facebook rants about Ann Romney and That Idiot who cut someone off in the middle school drop-off lane, or how everyone needs coffee—when this damn P&G London 2012 Summer Olympic Games “Film” gets posted on my wall:
And now I’m weeping. And I can’t stop.
Not only because I identify as a Sports Mom – you know, one of those much-maligned, high-intensity “living through their kids” parents who will chew up and spit out a Tiger Mom in the time it takes her to flog her kid with a violin bow.
I’m in tears because I’m a sucker.
Even though I understand a bit about using imagery and music and camera angles to manipulate emotions and sell a product (hello, Kony 2012), and my media savvy should be enough firm ground for my logical, rational mind, my heart still gets sucked in. I’m a sucker true and blue.
Do dads wake kids early before swim practice? Sure they do. Can men mash bananas and fold laundry? Of course. Is Pop commandeering today’s carpool? Yup.
Still, I fell for it. With happy, heart-full, big sloppy tears running down my face, I fell for it. And through my runny-nosed snurfling, I told all my Internet friends that I fell for it.
So, they sent me more.
Because my friends are evil and derive perverse pleasure when intelligent women devolve to Hallmark stereotypes. (To be honest, it’s worse than that: I asked for it. Like Giles Corey being crushed by stones in The Crucible, I made a cup of herbal tea, grabbed a box of scented Kleenex, and pleaded, “more weight!”)
American Airlines “Going Home” commercial.
I don’t even travel on planes much. I’m blubbering.
How about a cute kid with a stuffed monkey?
I almost feel guilty that I don’t go away more often than I do. I want some of those “you took my monkey around the world and brought him home” hugs from my kids, too.
This commercial almost makes me look forward to the bittersweet day my children will be out of the house. And coming home, finally, from some far away place where they finally learned to operate a coffee maker.
Procter & Gamble is trying to kill me.
Not every kid who learns to ride a bike is going to become Lance Armstrong. Not every girl who leaps down the stairs, vaults into the dining room chair, and hand-crawls up the walls instead of just walking from room to room like a normal person will become an elite artistic gymnast. But, seeing what my kids do in a different light brings up a lot of different feelings. Just as seeing my role as parent from an outsider’s somewhat objective point-of-view yanks around my heart. I’m reminded that kid’s play is kid’s work. I feel guilty for not having more patience with my kids for just being kids, for not always remembering that a lot of what they are doing now is practice for being an adult. I feel grateful when someone is publicly acknowledging that being a parent can be hard emotional work, even though I’m not always breaking a sweat when folding laundry or hauling kids to the skating rink.
All right, tough guys. Watch this one and tell me you didn’t get a little choked up.
Yeah. I know. You got a thing in your eye.
Even anthropomorphic elephant babies make me weepy. And I own a piano and a pair of ivory earrings.
And of course, the damn commercial that started all this torture.
Thanks, Mean Joe.