2.16.2012

To Cry or Not to Cry, That is the Question

First of all I hate that Parenthood makes me cry.
Mainly the TV show but sometimes the actual efforts as well.

And I am not an easy crier. In fact, at times, I wish I were more emotional, more heart on my sleeve.
But I'm not. I even worry sometimes that there is something wrong with me, that I'm either numbed to feelings (depression?) or too Grinchy-hearted (before he spied the Whos still celebrating after he stole their tinsel and roast beast). I don't think I am insensitive (usually), I mean I do have empathy and sympathy but those emotions are possibly overshadowed with a heavy dose of cynicism and pragmatism. My current emotional response-o-meter probably stems from my childhood where crying was tolerated only briefly and then you were warned you'd be given something to cry about (I don't think that ever happened, but it was threatened just the same). Crying was weak, unnecessary, and appropriate only for funerals or dire situations. Maybe it was a generational thing coupled with the fact that my dad was, you know, a man. He didn't have much patience with my mom's tears or mine, but maybe that was because he just didn't understand them or if he couldn't *fix* it.

Showing emotion and talking about your feelings just wasn't kosher (we're not Jewish, so I guess Kosher is neither here nor there) around our house either. I've only seen my dad cry a handful of times, the first time when my grandmother passed away and the second time a year later when my mom died and one of the more recent times was last year the night before his surgery for cancer (which, by the way, was successful and he has received clear scans every few months since, praise!), so...um, yeah, crying has always been a last resort of sorts.

I want things to be different for my little family of three.

I try to show patience with Annelise's crying jags, even the fake ones, but I don't always handle those as well as I probably should. Not too long ago it dawned on me that Annelise has never seen me (or Scott) cry. At least I'm 98.7% sure that she hasn't witnessed us cry, and she's 8 years old. (!!) That scares me a little because 1.) does that prove that I have a truly have heart of pure cold steel after all? and b.) will it totally freak her out to her core if and when she ever does see either one of us cry?

So I'm wondering can a non-crier become a crier? If so, how does one go about this metamorphosis exactly?

P.S. Just to prove I'm not completely Grinch-hearted, I did cry during Jennifer Hudson's tribute song to Whitney at the Grammy awards Sunday night. How could you not?

3 comments:

  1. Oh, the timing of this is hilarious.

    I just watched four back to back episodes of Parenthood, which means I've been crying on and off for about 180 minutes. But I cry all the time, over the silliest of things. If I see someone cry, I get sympathy tears. It's pathetic! The weird thing is - I try to curb it in front of my kids and husband...I prefer to cry alone.

    Anyhoo, not sure what my point is...just thoughts on crying ;)

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  2. I'm not one to cry easily either. I think Travis is more likely to cry than I am, most of the time. So I have no ideas.

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  3. I don't think you need to become a crier if you aren't. Eventually she will see you cry and I'm sure it will be over something worth crying over. As far as her crying, if it's something that's truly (justifiably) upset her, just comfort her and after a few minutes tell her that you'll be in the other room if she needs you. You don't need to be there for the extended version. As for fake crying, that drives me bonkers. Just tell her that you don't think fake crying is very nice, and just because she didn't get her way (which is mostly what fake crying was about in my house) you are not going to change your mind just because she cries. She won't fall apart when she does see you cry. She'll probably empathize a lot with you, and cry too. But not freak out. She may just be genetically predisposed to be more emotional. I'm much more likely to cry than my sister is.

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