4.16.2009

Cry Me A River


I’ve always worn my emotions close to the surface, but since becoming a mother, I cannot seem to control the waterworks. It started, of course, in pregnancy, when hormones sent me spinning, and it seemed like my tear-ducts grew exponentially with my belly. A kind word, a not-so-kind word, a perceived slight, a picture of a puppy – anything was enough to start the tears flowing.

There were a few notable triggers; events that could take me from composed to crumpled in 30 seconds flat. The first was this one commercial that aired during both of my pregnancies around Christmastime. I’m sure you know the commercial – it features nothing but close shot after close shot of angelic sleeping babies, fists curled, lips pursed, while Silent Night plays in the background. I don’t think I ever knew what the commercial was for – I could barely see through the tears.

The other surefire way to get me crying while pregnant was to finish the box of cereal through music. It didn’t matter who wrote the songs; this young girl cried thanks to a whole load of them. From long-time favorites to first time listens, all it took was a trill of a voice or a turn of phrase, and I was a mess. Sometimes I listened to a trigger song over and over just so that I had an excuse to cry so much. There was kind of a weird joy to it.

With pregnancy 16 months behind me, (literally – you should see my derriere. Never recovered.) and the hormones pretty much evened out (I do still nurse), my propensity for crying has calmed down. And it’s not because I now have a thicker skin – no, just the opposite, in fact. Motherhood has rendered me so sensitive to the minutiae of life’s ups and downs; to the inherent strengths and vulnerabilities of every living thing – most notably the two that I birthed – that I have had no choice but to steel myself against all but the strongest of tear-jerkers.

That’s right; these days it takes way more than a silly, sentimental old commercial to play on my emotions. It needs to pack a real punch – say, a 3 ½-year-old’s wobbly, semi-recognizable first attempt at printing, or perhaps, a baby’s enthusiastic, mmmmm-uah! of a kiss for her mother, to turn me into a geyser. Yup; I sure am one tough nut to crack. I’m ready for anything that could be thrown my way, and trust me – I’ve got my defense ready for when my defenses are down. I’m ready, and I’m packing.

Kleenex, that is.

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7 comments:

  1. I'm commenting for the first time... :) I have always been an emotional person, but you are so right--motherhood turned me into a weeper. I'll never forget being pregnant with #2, our daughter, and reading a Halloween story to our son. For some reason I found the simple (very upbeat) story so emotionally charged I burst into tears.

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  2. Diapers. That commercial, and dang it -it got me every time too!

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  3. That commercial will get me until the end of time. That aside, I'm the opposite. My brain goes into defence mode whenever confronted with a possible trigger, so I seem cold, but really I'm just coping with my head in the sand.

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  4. I'm a mess during this pregnancy. That Sudan video had me sobbing at work yesterday.

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  5. I'm still crying over your brisket.

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  6. i cried today when i heard the national anthem for fucks sake.

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  7. Tell me about it..
    The other day I was talking to a woman with a 3 month old baby.
    He had a stuffed up nose and his first cold.
    When he cried I found my self welling up.
    The poor little thing..
    Damn it here I go again....

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