Recently A month or so ago Stacey did a post about crying and posed the question “when last did you cry?”
It sparked quite a bit of banter on Twitter and honestly there was so much that came out of that conversation that has been bumping around my head that I’ve not quite made sense of. That I am STILL trying to make sense of. There were two definite camps, the criers and the non criers. Criers seemed to be able to cry at the drop of a hat or soppy commercial and the non criers seemed to be devoid of any salt water in their bodies to eeek out.
I am of the non crier camp. I’ve never been a crier. I often wonder why this is? Is it because I grew up with a military father and was taught to be “tough” and that crying doesn’t solve your problems? Or is it because I am devoid of any crying emotion? Who knows…
The one thing that did stand out to me was that all of us whether we fell into the crying or non crying camp did not cry in front of our children. Comments like “I cry in the bath when the kids are asleep” and “I don’t let my kids see me chunking away” really hit me. Hard. Criers and non criers alike we did not want our kids to see us “like that”. WHY?? Because crying is WEAK? Because crying makes you somehow LESS? WTF?? We are all trying our damnedest to teach our children to be emotionally intelligent people aren’t we? Isn’t crying a part of that? I hear myself berating my kids all too often “why are you crying?” “stop crying” “that’s enough crying”… geesh. Thinking about it now, I believe that crying SHOULD be an integral part of our emotional quotient.
By hiding ourselves crying from our kids aren’t we somehow leaving out part of that emotional intelligence training we are trying to give them? The more I think about this the more I really believe it is good for them to see us crying. To understand that crying in the right environment can be healing. It can help relieve frustration. It can help open the dam of grief we may feel about things in our lives.
As a non crier, I worry about how my non crying, hard ass self is going to teach my children this important skill. So I let those tears that brim in my eyes fall when I’m watching Greys. I allow myself to cry with a friend who has lost a mom. I am trying not to hide this part of myself from my family. From myself for that matter.
It’s probably one of the hardest lessons I’m teaching to both them and myself. But one I hope I get right…
Four years ago you entered this world and you made me a mommy. I had absolutely NO idea what the next four years would hold but boy have you stretched me and molded me as much as I think I have you.
This past year has been a year of such contradiction as you have started finding yourself. You have pushed the boundaries, driven your father and I up the wall but at the same time have given us such insight into your beautiful little soul. You are a delight!
I love that you have started having strong opinions about EVERYTHING in life. What it is you want to watch on TV. Which book we read to you before bed time. How we say prayers together. The manner in which I sing our bedtime song. The clothes you want to wear. The clothes Gemma must wear. What is the best toy to throw in the garden for Saffy. On and on and on – if there is an opinion to be had – you have it. I love this. I love that you are exploring your world and are finding your own path in it. Does it frustrate me at times? Absolutely! But I think that is part of the learning for us both.
You are FUNNY! The things you come out with sometimes I can laugh for days at your sense of humour. And don’t get me started on those facial expressions…
You are a GREAT big brother. I can always rely on you to “check what Gemma is up to” and to report back to forth width if she’s doing something you deem wrong or dangerous (even tattle tailing when she’s again feeding Jazzy part of her food). I love how you and Gems play together now that she is mobile. How you run around and chase each other and laugh and giggle and screech with joy! I don’t love having to be your constant referee tho as with most siblings there have been many disagreements and fights over toys (you HATE me putting them into toy jail when you guys can’t share). Overall what I can already see is that your baby sister will never have to worry about whose got her back. Cos its you baby, it’s you.
You have come so far in terms of your swimming this year. You are a winter baby. Water is not your first delight. You are cautious in a pool and honestly I prefer this. But you have diligently listened to your swimming teacher (even teaching us at home how to use pool noodles correctly with Gemma) and you have streaked ahead with your water confidence. You waltz into school like you own the place and I am thankful that whilst kisses at home are often stolen you still allow me to kiss you goodbye in your class every day. You teach us new songs and nursery rhymes and your memory is astounding.
My boy. My darling boy.
You will never truly understand the depth of my love for you. But I hope that you will feel it surrounding you wherever you go and how ever old you turn.
Happy Fourth Birthday!