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Thursday, May 29, 2008


"Mom, you scare me when you cry," says my young son anytime he detects a tear welling in my eye. Inherently, I know my tears scare him. Parents are security blankets, right? So, my tears easily disclose my vulnerability. What makes this so shameful is that I seem to be the biggest cry-baby in the household. Show me a good Kodak commercial, and it's Niagara Falls. (Do they make Kodak commercials anymore?)

My ten-year old daughter is showing signs of inheriting her father's emotional posture. While she cried when Grandpa Mark died and when Nick Jonas was diagnosed with diabetes, she never sqeaks a tear -- even during the saddest of movies! (Let me note that when she endures physical pain, the cry can be heard for miles. It's almost embarrassing.)

My six-year old boy seems to be battling a conflict between his gender and the need to cry. Even when he's been hurt physically, he actually attempts to run away so no one sees him. If I'm quick enough to catch him, he buries his head to muffle his sobs. (Do any other parents have to run their kids down to comfort them?) Anyway, I've discovered him wiping a tear at a few movies -- the first time was when Charlotte the spider died. When I asked him about the tear, he quickly explained, "No! I had something in my eye!" Since then, I've seen Cole choke back tears and it makes me kind of sad. I want him to cry. It's okay to cry!

So, the other night, we're watching E.T. (One of the best family shows of all time I may add.) I finally sit down and pull Cole on my lap as E.T. is dying.

I'm not gonna cry.

I'm not gonna cry. Gulp. Sniff. Swallow hard. Don't cry, you big baby! You know what happens! He's not gonna die! Tears are flowing. I'm trying hard not to make any gutteral noises as my nose begins to run as well. Cole's not budging and neither of the kids are making fun of my emotional state. I sneak a peek at Alex on the couch. Her cheeks are as dry as the desert. Finally, it's okay. E.T.'s alive. Now, E.T. has to go home and say goodbye to Elliot.

Dang. They're back -- the tears, and harder this time. I can't hold back my sobs anymore. I just let loose. The kids look at me, roll their eyes and smile. Cole didn't even cry! Or did he?

Either my hyped-up emotional state made me oblivious or he hid his tears extremely well. Because as I gave him a bath, I asked, "C'mon Cole! Didn't you even cry a little during E.T.?" He hesitated. But under his breath came the confession, "Well, just a little."

I hugged him. "Good."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, I have a daughter that I also need to run down to comfort. Sometimes she runs to me, and other times, kids will come to me and tell me when she is hurt, and trying to be tough, and not cry. I also have a son that will cry with me in the sad movies. Its kinda nice.