I’m a crybaby
I never used to cry. Really. Okay, sometimes books made me cry. Certain country songs. That one time in gym class when I got hit in the face with a soccer ball. But not like, real life. There were times when I felt like there was something wrong with me because I didn’t cry when I “should”. It wasn’t like I didn’t feel it. I just didn’t cry.
Well, let’s just say things have changed a bit. Commercials make me tear up. I was a blubbering mess reading a book about an old dog that dies to my nephew when he was little. I’d lost my dog relatively recently, so it brought up some feelings. Just thinking about it now still makes me tear up and it’s been years since then. I could barely finish reading the book. I felt like I was scarring the child for life.
The other day I was watching a movie with my oldest brother’s family. A Tinkerbell movie (got to love having little girls around)! At the end, one of the fairies has to say goodbye to her friend, the neverbeast, who is going back into hibernation for 900+ years. My niece was standing there wiping tears from her face. She looked back at us grownups and said, “I’m crying,” and I swiped at my cheeks and whispered, “Me, too.” I felt silly. But it got me thinking.
Why shouldn’t we cry in front of people? Particularly children? I’m not sure I ever saw my mom cry (angry, yes, I was an infuriating child). But doesn’t crying with someone reassure them that what they’re feeling is valid? I don’t want my niece to feel like she has to hide what she feels (not that I think she could, that one’s a drama queen). I want her to know it’s okay to cry when something is sad, just as much as I want her to laugh at things that please her. I don’t want to see her trying to be tough. It’s bad enough watching my nephew’s soft heart harden a little as he grows up. Surviving in this life requires it, I suppose, but I don’t have to enjoy it.
So, what do you think? Am I going to scar these children for life if I cry at Tinkerbell?