I will fully admit it - I’m a crier. It’s too obvious not to admit and just own, because crying happens at an alarming frequency in my world. What can I say - I’m a softie! Inside this tough chick exterior lives a woman who cried into her popcorn when Bing Bong died. I’m sorry, did you *see* Bing Bong die? If you didn’t cry, I’m calling you heartless here and now. I”m still recovering.
Since having children, I’ve become a typical sentimental, weepy old lady. Even poor Stephen, my husband, has noticed that I am prone to crying. In fact, last night he asked me, “Do you want to watch something that’s just fun, or something that will make you cry?” Because he knows - if it’s not out-and-out humor, I am probably going to get choked up and misty-eyed. It was bad before kids and now it’s only getting worse.
As the youngest of three, I was blessed with both the loudest voice and the worst hand-eye coordination. My brother and sister played sports throughout their childhood and into high school. But there came a day when a softball coach told me I couldn't do both the musical and the softball season - and I chose the musical. I figured I'd probably be singing and dancing well into my later years, right? My family would agree - I was a little drama queen then. And apparently, I still have a flair for the dramatic.
How could I note be overly sentimental? These beautiful, vibrant children that smile and kiss and giggle are only going to stay this little for so long. Soon enough, I'll be trading my own weepiness for his moody threenager outbursts. I'll blink and we'll be taking her shopping for a prom dress. Maybe I'm feeling so in touch with my feelings because I've been overdosing on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.
When I was pregnant, I could blame intense hormones. Heck, I even found myself loudly sobbing at The Phantom Menace when I was pregnant with Shepard. My husband was a little concerned. "Babe, are you ok?"
"I'm just really torn up inside because once upon a time, Anakin was just a little innocent kid, too. And now he's...." And I started blubbering. I was verklempt - over a fictional character in what is arguably the worst movie of an entire series.
My brain must have rewired itself when Shep was born. I find myself crying for joy when I see my children master a new skill - even if it's something seemingly quite simple. And, similarly, I cry when we leave a part of young childhood behind - when Shep stopped nursing, when Rory outgrew her newborn onesies. Because I knew I would be a bit overcome with emotion, I delayed Shep's first haircut until well past his first birthday. When I did finally cut it, I cried and picked up clumps of it from the floor to slip into an envelope.
In this moment of our lives, everything seems more tender and sweet and short-lived. Especially given the fragile and temporary nature of life. I may never get to experience this tiny infancy stage again, so I'm going to revel in it. I'm going to accumulate wads of used Kleenex like they're dust bunnies. Simple things - like toilet paper commercials, or a puppy running gleefully on the beach - will trigger a downpour of sappy tears. And I'll learn to live with it. I'll learn that I am never going to watch Bing Bong disappear ever again.