Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I'll Clap for Your Child -- If You Will Clap for Mine

Yesterday I had lunch with my girlfriend Reina who has a son and daughter in law who are running an orphanage in Haiti. She told me how much it means to her that I leave encouraging comments on their

Our conversation reminded me of a time when I learned a sweet lesson:
There we sat at John Thomas' college graduation. We were a  pitifully small gathering for such a monumental event. Papa Joe, me, Rush and Annie.
JT had worked  hard and was graduating with several honors.
Right below us was a whole box- seat section full of one huge extended African American family dressed in their finest. When their child walked the length of the stage to recieve his diploma a cheer rang out that was so warm and celebratory  it filled the stadium with a joyful noise.
My heart sank. John was not going to enter into post grad with nearly that much fan fare.  It was going to sound like the closing of "Laugh In".  Clap, Clap ......Clap.
But I always tell my children "Never underestimate the power of the Mother's Underground."
So I made my way down the steps and approached the woman in the box seats that looked about my age (although she had on a fantastic hat and looked much more regal than I) and asked her if she would have her family cheer for my child since there were only four of us.
Our eyes met. Our hearts connected, she reached out her elegant hand, took mine and said, "We would be happy to do that."
When they finally read John's name a cheer rang out, clapping commenced and of course I choked up.
He got the praise he deserved and I am touched by the memory of that family who didn't know us at all but cheered for my child.


  1. Ohhhhhhhhhh my mother's heart is full. Love this!

  2. That is a sweet story!!