Most of us are aware of the ugly cry. The Urban Dictionary states that you know you are doing the ugly cry when you lose complete control of the muscles in your face, start heaving and making awkward sounds (even though you are trying to be silent), and start leaking fluids from every opening of your face. Since I am almost seven months pregnant, the ugly cry comes very easily these days. Although some people would insist that I really do not need pregnancy hormones to do the ugly cry – just ask the folks that went to the see the move Philadelphia with me.
So I pretty much did the unthinkable the other day. Something that I always try to avoid doing.
I did the ugly cry at work. Seriously.
I could not help it because I was not just among colleagues but truly among friends (and the Urban Dictionary also says that women often do the ugly cry in the company friends).
I work for an Aboriginal program that provides support to the spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical development of Aboriginal children, while supporting their first teachers – parents and guardians. I LOVE this program. A lot. I talk about it all the time. I promote it all the time. I wrote academic papers on it and conducted evaluations to highlight its success.
At a recent gathering, we were asked to speak about why we do what we do, what our inspiration was as well as to bring a physical representation of it. I brought a picture of my own son smudging. This picture represented why I love the program. The program allows children (some are the same age as my son) the opportunity to learn about their culture and language while addressing their health, social development and education. I can see the pride in my son when he smudges or dances at powwows and I think about all those other children that can now experience the same.
Over the past five years, the program staff have grown to become friends and family. Living so far away from my own community, they have become my community. They have taught me so much. I am so thankful for that because I can in turn teach it to my son. With so much that taken from us as people, this program is giving it back. Words cannot express how much that means to me….I suppose only the ugly cry can.