Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Why I Cry.

The Headlines:

I cry.

Sometimes in front of my children.

It helps me. 

Does it hurt them?






For as long as I can remember, I have cried.  I have always been an emotion ball.  Call it empathetic or pathetic, I cry.  As a little girl, I would sit on the couch in my house with my Mom and ball over an episode of Little House on the Prairie.  One of the best family shows of all time thank you very much!  Then, when the show was over - I was good.  I would saunter up to bed and sleep the night away.  Not a care in the world.  Mary may have lost her eye sight but I cried about it and moved on.

I contend that crying is not always bad.  But my daughter hates when I cry.

It is ugly.  I look really, super awful when I get to the Full Cry Eruption.  More on that later.  See, I've always had this lip thing.  Kinda like my daughter in the picture below.  But worse.  Our lips just automatically go in the downward position and it is truly devastating - looking - that is.  My son has the same lip look too… I'll be honest - it makes the person watching feel like one inch tall.  Especially, if it's aimed at you.  Horrible.


But back to the point:  crying can be good.  It lets me feel severe emotion and then release/relief.  I am often better because of a good cry.  I let it go.  It's gone.  It makes me wonder what happens to the people who never cry?  Do they not let it out?  Is it bottled up forever?  Some people probably just don't need to cry.  I think the only time I ever saw BP (the husband) cry was at our wedding.  He just doesn't do it.  Of course, that was one time I didn't cry.  Too many people.  Crying is more personal for me.  I don't like to do it in front of crowds.  I once saw a newscaster cry on live television when I was in a small market in Washington State.  It scarred me.  I vowed - never me.  But in private, I may do it like 5 times in a week.  Depending on the week.  Last week I cried when I read an email from my daughter's teacher, when I heard a man died whom I had never even met and as I was talking to a friend about…  I don't even remember.  Uh-huh.

But with all of that said, have you noticed?  All cries are different.  The following is my 
Cry Momentum Chart
at least in my eyes.  No pun… well, it was kind of intended.  Here goes...

Tickle Cry = a tiny welling up in the back part of your eye balls… I get this tickle and there's barely a glaze over.  That's me with a good Hallmark commercial.

Welling Water =  actual tear build up in the eye.  Possible but not probable a tear could fall out.  That's going to church: thinking about God's infinite love or a really good sermon.  It is the most common type of "cry" for me.

Random Tear Drop = out of the blue touched with a bolt of emotion.  For me, writing this blog sometimes brings one tear...  It also happened as I wrote touching stories in news.  I loved covering those stories.  They didn't happen often, but they did happen.

Bit of Blur = multiple tears that in turn make seeing a bit of a challenge.  That's me when I tuck in my children at night, say prayers and think.  The good thing is, usually, no one knows it's happening because my voice remains the same and it's dark.

Full Cry Eruption = that's the ugly cry.  It's super uncontrolled, awful to look at but the best to get out.   Me, watching "The Notebook" will always produce a Full Cry.  I can't even show my face the next day it's so puffy!  My eyes may even kind of ache a little.  It will take a whole day for my face to re-form again.  That's why this cry is the only one I truly do try to avoid at all costs.  It takes a lot, doesn't happen often and that's a very good thing.  For my face.

All of them can be healing and helping, to me, in their own ways.  The question is - is it good for my children?

My son doesn't see me cry - much.   One, because he's not really paying attention and two, because I'm not sure that he cares.  Sometimes he just looks, points and laughs.  He rarely comments.  The one time he did see a Full Cry Eruption (just after I heard my father had a supposed brain tumor - he didn't - it was an aneurysm instead) - he said to me, "Moms aren't supposed to cry!"

My daughter, on the other hand,  has always hated when I cried.  Just last night she told me it embarrasses her.  Odd to me, since I don't do it in front of her friends or anything.  At age 2… I would shed a tear and she would stand paralyzed in amazement.  She would take her finger and go right up to the source… my eyeball... and touch it.  It was as if she was trying very hard to dissect and determine -  what was this wetness?  Where did it come from?  How do I make it stop?

I try to explain all crying isn't bad.  Some people cry when they're happy, I say.  Others cry to get them through something unusual.  For me, it's more often than not, feeling empathy, appreciation or total emotion.  But, for my daughter, it's as if she doesn't buy it.  Like, she believes, if I cry something is very wrong and she may need to worry.  The last thing I want is to hurt her with my tears.  Ironically - and you know what I'm talking about all you mama's out there - she cries from time to time and my little guy cries almost everyday about something.  No one flinches.  It's business as usual.  But yes, I know, I'm the Mom.

Sometimes I wonder if there will ever be a day where she will understand that it's okay to cry.  I keep waiting.  She's 8 now.  I really want her to sit on that couch, watch Little House on the Prairie with me… and cry.  But maybe she's like her dad.  Crying won't be her thing - like it is mine.  

In any case, my question remains: does my crying hurt my kids?  Does it show weakness and uncertainty that is bad for children to witness?  For the record,  I can cry several times in a week but I do NOT weep uncontrollably everyday.  Really I don't.  But maybe my daughter sees it that way?  So, what do you really think?  Do you cry in front of your kids?  Or am I the only blubbering mama out there?

Sniff Sniff.