Tears of…

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So where exactly is the dividing line between joy and sorrow?

Odd question?

Maybe not as odd as you might think. Because even though joy and sorrow are considered opposites, they often exist in our hearts side by side.

Take, for example, today. I am helping one of my children move out of the house, and into the dorm.

My heart is heavy with sorrow because I fear that I might lose her. I know that once she moves out of the house our relationship will never be quite the same again, not to mention that I won’t be there to protect her.

From now own, every solution she discovers for herself, every bill she pays without my help, every experience she has without my presence moves her more firmly into adulthood. And everyone knows that although most adults love their mothers, they don’t really need them. (Being somewhat self-sufficient and responsible for yourself pretty much defines adulthood.)

Besides, I won’t get to joke with her about her day, tease her about her hair, give her a hug right before bed.

But here is where my question comes from. Residing right beside the sorrow is that other strong emotion, joy. I can barely contain how elated I feel that she has grown to be such a wonderful, mature young woman. I rejoice in the thought that she is about to begin the journey into adulthood, where she really gets to spread her wings and find out exactly what type of person she is (which is, of course, wonderful, talented, fantastic, etc….).

So when I cannot contain my tears any longer and I break down and cry–which I know I will–where will those tears come from? Where’s the line? Will they be tears of sorrow, or tears of joy?

What do you think?