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Photo of crying boy hugging sister at pre-K graduation goes viral

As proud mom Aundrea Smith watched the moment unfold, she thought, "We're not doing so bad! They love each other."
/ Source: TODAY

Weepy parents are par for the course at any preschool graduation ceremony. But a proud sibling with tears streaming down his face? That’s going to grab some attention. Just ask Connecticut mom Aundrea Smith.

Smith shared a photo of her 8-year-old son Derek locked in an embrace with his cap-and-gown clad sister, Charlee, 5, and it went viral with more than 19,000 likes on Instagram.

In the caption, Smith, recounted the sweet exchange between the rising second-grader and kindergartener. “‘I’m just so proud of you,’ he said. Then of course, my daughter starting crying,” Smith wrote. “As we wiped away our tears, my husband asked her, ‘Pumpkin, why are you crying?’ She responded, ‘I’m just so happy.’”

Smith and her husband, Matthew, plan to frame the picture and display it in their living room. “It was such a great moment for us seeing him so moved and happy," Smith told TODAY Parents. “We were like, ‘We’re not doing so bad! They love each other.'

According to Smith, Charlee lives for Derek’s approval. “She admires him so much,” Smith explained to TODAY Parents. “At home, she follows him around wants to do everything he does.”

viral hug
The Smith family.Courtesy of Aundrea Smith

It should come as no surprise that Smith’s post was inundated with comments.

“This got me so emotional and put a big smile on my face at the same time,” gushed one person. Added another, “Thx for the reminder and heart tug today… sometimes with life we forget the things that matter most.”

Many praised Derek and Charlee’s mother and father for raising them right. As one wrote, “Congratulations to the parents. You’re doing a great job.”