Tears For Breakfast

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
Aug. 5 2009 11:24 AM

Tears For Breakfast

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Did anyone who watched Laura Ling and Euna Lee’s arrival in Burbank this morning not cry? Though the reunion of Lee and her daughter, Hannah, was the bigtime tearjerker, for all the obvious, poignant, mommy-daughter-love-runs-deep reasons, there was another quieter moment that had me dripping tears into my cheerios.

After Laura Ling finished embracing her immediate family-husband, sister, mother, father- she walked over to hug Lee’s husband. Her mother, standing behind her, quickly reached over Laura’s shoulder to tuck a wayward strand of hair behind her daughter’s ear. It was such a sweet, impulsive gesture: after all these months, she just can’t keep her hands to herself, so happy to be able to touch her baby whenever she wants. Even more, after all these months, she finally gets to be a mom in the most normal of ways, keeping her daughter’s hair out of her eyes.

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Photograph of Laura Ling's and her mother is a still from a video of Ling and Euna Lee's arrival in Los Angeles.

Willa Paskin is Slate’s television critic.