“I am not a crier” I’ve told countless of people over the years, yet here I am, riddled with tears almost every single day. Nothing is horribly wrong. No one I love is in the grips of a terrible, potentially life threatening illness and neither am I. Yet I cannot seem to escape the cavalcade of tear inducing reminders scattered across the internet, social media, newspaper or regular television. How am I supposed to inspire confidence in my children, if I break down crying at every silly little thing.
“Yesterday on Facebook, I watched a five-minute video about drunk driving…” I was telling my husband. “…and needless to say, by the end I was in tears…” The doll, overhearing our conversation turned to me and asked, “When doesn’t something make you cry?” Sticking my tongue out at her in reply, I returned my attention back to my husband to continue our conversation. A little while later the doll approached and asked, “Mom did you ever feel like you needed to have a good cry and you couldn’t seem to find one?” “All the time–when I was your age” I said with a hint of nostalgia coursing through my mind.
“But you cry at everything now…” She sarcastically replied. “No I don’t…” I said slightly offended. “Mom you cried during the St. Jude’s television commercial the other day-and it wasn’t a sad commercial”. “I didn’t “cry” I got choked up-two different things” I explained while she said “What ev. ver” at the same time. “Well shoot, the story behind St. Jude’s hospital is a good one…” I said and found myself choking up again-just at the thought. In an effort not to be discovered, I cleared my throat and pretended to cough.
“Why is it easier for you to “cry” today?” She wondered. “As opposed to when I was your age?” I said, finishing her thought. “Yes…” “Hormones” I replied (which frankly has become my standard stock answer for just about everything these days). Receiving a puzzled look from my doll, I tried to elaborate. “The other night, your aunt Terri and I were laughing about how the older we get, the more we’re taking after Grandma Joyce and her ability to cry on a dime about everything–a trait neither of us likes to have, honestly.
“Okay, but when you were my age, what did you do to, you know…” the doll began. “to …instigate a good cry?” I interrupted. Nodding her head in agreement I replied, “I found a good chick flick that would make me cry…” I said with a smile. “Oh…” She replied and thought for a moment. “Which movie?” She asked. “Bless the Beast and the Children…” I replied and once again was given a puzzled look. “I’ve never heard of that movie…” came her reply. “Of course not…it’s from 1971”. “What’s it about?” “Boys at a summer camp who are misfits and bullied, go on an epic journey to save some buffaloes from being shot and maybe save themselves in the process” I replied and found myself getting choked up again, simply recalling the ending. Oh Brother!!
Noticing my predicament the doll laughed “Jeeze mom…” “Shaking my head back and forth, I tried to release those dumb thoughts and began to laugh at my own silliness. “What’s a good movie for me to watch…?” She asked. “You cried at the end of Beaches… or that horrible “If I Stay” or maybe you should read “The Fault in our Stars…” I recommended. “Or we could watch Steel Magnolias or Terms of Endearment or any number of other chick flicks with sad endings…” I offered.
Nodding her head in agreement I asked, “So when do you want to watch one of those movies?” “Um, I don’t know…I’m not in the mood right now…but I’ll let you know” She said. Turning my attention back to the television a commercial for Hallmark came on. Instead of watching I left the room. Sometimes tears are better when no one is around-especially the dumb, silly, halmark card sentiment; inducing ones.