If you know me at all, whether it's in real life, or just from hanging out here, you know I am a weeper. A crier. I CRY. At the drop of a hat.
I cry happy tears, sad tears, joyous tears, frustrated tears, relieved tears. You name a tear, and I've cried it. I have spent countless midnight Christmas Eve church services hiding behind a program because the songs move me so deeply that I start sobbing, like deep hitching sobs. While sitting in a pew. With other people.
I cry over songs on the radio. My kids insist on listening to our local "cool" station, KDWB in the car. Therefore, I know all the lyrics to, and sing along with, a plethora of angsty feels songs that are so not directed towards women my age. I sing along to "Say Something" by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera and when they get to the line, "And I am feeling so small...It was over my head...I know nothing at all" the signs on the road get all blurry due to the excess water in my eyes.
The commercial about the Olympic athletes and their moms? TORTURE. I picture me and every one of my non-athletic kids, and I think my tears are a combination of guilt over not having more Sports Kids and and sappy relief over the fact that I made some pretty good memories with them while we figured out that they weren't future Olympians. Molly was signed up for t-ball when she was about 4. She hit the ball, and started running. First base! Going for second! Rounding to third..and kept on running, straight to me and the blanket I was sitting on along the third base line. Her first and last t-ball game and we laugh about it to this day. Sniffle.
The song "Fix You" by Coldplay is a trigger. I need some time alone after hearing that one. Time alone with a towel to mop up the mess running down my face.
Tell me your birth story and I'll show you my ugly cry face. Tell me your adoption story and it's even uglier. At the last hockey tournament this year, I sat in the hotel lobby sharing wine and baby stories with a few other hockey moms. The "standard" birth tales got me in the gut, but when one mom regaled us with not only the story of her son's adoption but about his life leading up to the adoption? Gah. I blamed my uncontrolled blubbering on the wine.
I've banned myself from ever watching The Learning Channel's "A Baby Story" in the best interests of everyone, everywhere.
This facebook page is a no-no if I'm out in public. Or if I am wearing any eye makeup.
One of the biggest downfalls of being an EW (easy weeper) is being blindsided by an attack of the tears. Case in point, the following conversation I had at the dentist office just this past week:
Cathy, the receptionist: "Jenny, that William sure is a nice boy."
Me: "Oh thank you. He really is a sweet kid."
Cathy: "All of your kids are so polite and kind. You've done a really good job with them. You wouldn't believe some of the behavior we see in here."
Me: "Thank you! I don't know if it's because of me, though. They were pretty awesome right from the start."
Cathy: "You're a single mom, right?"
Cathy: "Wow. Four kids? How long have you been doing this on your own?"
Me: "Hmm...it's been about 7 years now."
Cathy: "Do they spend much time with dad?"
Me: "They used to spend every other weekend with him. And a couple weeknights. But that hasn't happened for at least 4 years. He helps with rides sometimes. And they hung out with him at Christmas for a few hours."
Cathy, shaking her head, "Well, I want you to know that you're doing a really great job with your kids."
Me: "Oh my God. I'm sorry...can I get some tissues?"
I was full-on crying. In the waiting room of our dental office. Luckily the only other person waiting was an elderly gentleman who was polite enough to just smile into the copy of National Geographic he was reading.
When the kids at school hold my face in their hands and say "I love you, Miss Jenny" I oftentimes get something in my eye that requires immediate attention. Same goes when I feel a tiny hand spontaneously grab mine as we're walking down the hall. Or when I watch one of them figuring out how to write a certain letter, or sound out a word in a book. Excuse me for a sec, I can't type anymore. I'll be right back....
When I think about Molly leaving for school this fall I break down. When I look at pictures of the kids, random snapshots of them doing random things (the car wash in the driveway, with the Little Tikes cars and wagons all lined up, little Charlie and little Molly standing there, all serious and soapy? OOOOMMMMGGGG.
The passage of time leaves me verklempt. Thoughts of the future, so exciting and scary, does it too. Pretty much every video featuring dogs and/or babies and/or soldiers returning home is like a shot in the heart.
AND SARAH MCLACHLAN, PLEASE STOP. Please. No more.
I used to be embarrassed about this affliction, this inability to hold my emotions at bay until a later moment, a more private moment. It made me feel flawed and weak. But then someone said something to me, and it made me feel better.
"You cry really easily, don't you?" she said, with a kind smile on her face. Go figure, at the time, I was dabbing at some tears.
I smiled back and said something like, "Yes! I can't help it. I'm sorry."
"Don't be sorry" she said. "It's a really endearing quality. You don't hide your feelings like a lot of people do."
And you know what? She has a point. Our world seems to be growing colder and meaner and more impersonal every day. Maybe being an Easy Weeper really is an okay thing. A good thing, even.
I know there are more Easy Weepers out there. I've met some of you, and the solidarity one feels when wiping tears away with friends is all kinds of empowering. Moving, even.
So for those of you who have a good cry at the ready 24/7, be proud. Embrace your sensitive selves, and know you're in good company.
P.S. Make sure you have Kleenex in your purse at all times. Trust me.