Emotions are a funny thing. Sometimes I can't believe the way they hit me at atypical moments. I am normally not a crier. In fact, I try really hard NOT to cry (unless I catch "Terms of Endearment" on cable TV and Debra Winger is making that deathbed speech to her boys, then all bets are off) and I've worked long and hard in therapy to figure out why I hate the idea of crying so much. What am I afraid of? But that will have to wait for a different post.
Today it's all about the crying. I felt the tears coming three times today. This morning we had a conference with E's math teacher. He is not doing so well in math. He's not doing poorly, but he's not focusing and he's making a lot of mistakes that are affecting his grade. When she told us that he rushes through tests and classwork in order to read or doodle, J pointed at me and said, "I wonder where he gets that from?" I turned bright red and told her he takes after his very distracted mother, who also loves to read and doodle more than anything she SHOULD be doing. And then I felt the tears welling up. I felt so sorry that E honestly gets some difficult characteristics from me. It's not easy to be distracted and unorganized and unfocused. I hate for him to struggle with these things like I have. But we have a lot of heart, my boy and I, so that will have to do. But it made me cry for him.
Then, later I was at the local dance studio signing up for an exercise class (also not typical for me, but I'm not getting any younger and I thought it might be a good idea to fight the spare tire appearing around my middle). While I was there filling out the necessary forms, a woman who looked to be about 80 years old was also sitting at the desk. A man about the same age came out of the ballroom where they were having an open ballroom dance session to tell this woman something about his children coming soon and to please send them back as they were bringing him birthday cake. She said she would, as long as he shared a piece of cake with her. He replied that he would, of course, in fact he would give her two pieces. To this she replied, "What I'd really like is a piece of you." He leaned over and gave her a big kiss on the mouth and made some funny reply about the offer being worth it all. I don't remember his exact words because . . . I teared up again. It was so sweet to see these two octogenarians so full of life and love for each other. They still had it going on at 80-something and that looked so good it made me cry!
Then later this afternoon I took the boys to see J at his office. You can see the Statue of Liberty from his window and we pass pretty close to it on the NJ Turnpike. As we passed it coming home, C asked me what is so special about the statue. I started talking about the meaning behind it, and what it must have been like for all the people who passed through Ellis Island. I told him that many people who come to this country are coming from places where they can't make a living, sometimes they don't have food or water, and many times they are oppressed and denied freedom by their governments. I explained that the U.S. is very different and exciting because they have many freedoms here and a chance to make a better life for themselves and their families. As I was talking about this, I was thinking about the election last week and the fact that Barack Obama was elected. And guess what?? I started crying again. I was so overwhelmed by my feelings of pride in this country and the possibilities that the statue represents that I couldn't help it.
I don't love crying. I don't love that feeling as it wells up in my throat and makes my nose and eyes burn. And I still try really hard not to do it. But I'm getting better. I'm trying to be okay with it. I'm trying to realize that it's not always a bad thing. That sometimes it's good to let those feeling out. Even when they surprise you!