by Susan Sey
A baby was baptized this Sunday at church & I wept like a proud grandma.
I am, however, not this child's grandma. I am not her mom, her auntie, or even her cousin. Her mother is a Facebook friend. An acquaintance, really. I've only seen the kid once or twice--just enough to know that she got a double scoop of cute and that she's wicked fast on her tiny little feet.
But that's not why I cried.
I cried because I'm a sucker for ceremony.
I cried because I think it's gorgeous and touching and extravagantly optimistic to make a deep and private emotion into a public promise.
I cried because watching a community of people embrace a new member touches me.
Hearing that community pledge with one strong voice to guide, shelter and love a child all but wrecks me.
And the welcoming hymn? That powerful, unified voice raised in song?
Forget it. By then I'm a bawling mess. ("I Was There To Hear Your Borning Cry" puts me over the edge faster than "Child of Promise" but they both slay me.)
And it's not just baptisms. It's weddings, too. Funerals. I'm a non-denominational crier. I cry at graduations. Dance recitals. Band concerts. Anything where a community welcomes, celebrates, recognizes or loses one of its members.
It's thrilling, isn't it? When people crack open that window into their truest hearts? When they try their hardest, perform their hearts out, bring their beloved child into the larger community or simply muster up the courage to declare their love?
I think that's why I love romance novels. For me, the payoff is that moment of pure vulnerability that comes with saying "I love you" to somebody who might not say it back. It's bearing witness when somebody pledges their heart. It's foolish, bold and gorgeous, that kind of risk. And it brings tears to my eyes every single time.
So what about you? What is it about romance that trips your trigger? Do you like a good cry, or are you more a witty repartee kinda gal? Is it the sexual tension, or the alpha male with a tender streak? Why do you love this genre?