Last week I attended a local theater production of The Addams Family. I went into this show without any expectations. I didn’t know any of the songs and had only a vague idea of the plot. It ended up being an entertaining evening filled with hilarious lines, impressive dancing, and outstanding performances. There was one song, though, that caught my breath. You see, little Wednesday Addams has grown up and fallen in love with a boy, and when she asks her father if he is okay with that, he sings her a melancholy song titled “Happy/Sad”. 
“I’m feeling happy, I’m feeling sad.
A little childish, a little Dad.
I think of all the days you’ve done.
All the ways you’ve grown.
see you on your own, and then
I’m feeling happy and sad again.”

As the tears welled, I acknowledged what was in this character’s heart. This is parenthood. We grapple with these conflicting emotions on a continuous loop. 

We are both happy and sad when our children are babies. We cuddle and smooch their little cheeks. We catalogue their every move, but we feel sadness as they begin their journey from crawling to toddling to walking, because we know in our hearts that they will soon begin the march that takes them away from our supportive hands.

We are both happy and sad when our children go to school. We are proud of their accomplishments. We attend games and performances and award ceremonies. We save every piece of art work and display school pictures, but we are sad as each new school year means they are one year older and one year closer to growing up.

We are both happy and sad when our children find love. We want them to discover the happiness that comes with truly loving another person. We pray their lives are filled with joy and companionship and peace, but we are sad because this means we are no longer the most important people in their lives now. We know they have given their hearts to others.

My two boys have just begun marvelous journeys. They are now grown and on their own. I love spending time with their adult selves. I am so proud of their talents and happy they have found their true paths, but I am also sad they are no longer little boys. I miss Hot Wheels and Legos and endless baseball games. I miss their arguments. I miss the smell of “boy funk.” I miss the noise and the mess. I totally understand Gomez when he sings,

“Life is full of contradictions, every inch a mile.
And the moment we start weeping.
that’s when we should smile.

So let’s be happy
forever happy 
completely happy
and a tiny bit sad.”

("Happy/Sad", music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa)