Monday, May 08, 2006

Town Crier

When a woman has a child she expects that certain physical and emotional changes will happen as a result. Expanding waistlines and tighter wallets. A new subdivision of spider veins on the road map of her thighs. Breasts to rival those of the saline queens in the pages of men's magazines, which almost inevitably deflate as if an invisible hat pin was used to pop a hole to let some of the liquid drain out. Sleepless nights resulting in a matched set of luggage that doesn't come from Louis Vuitton. The strong Mama Bear emerges but the overtired woman inside begs for mercy - and a couple of minutes alone. Please. Just a couple of minutes.

All of these things happened to me and I was (almost) ready for them. Bring it on. Just make sure I get that cute, wiggly bundle of need as my recompense. I was not, however, ready for one small change in myself.

I became a crier.

A big, weeping bag of tears.

Anyone who knows me well could tell you that I don't cry. Ever. For some, crying comes naturally, it actually makes them feel better. Some even make it look good. But I am not one of those people. Scratch that. I was not one of those people because, apparently, now I am. Although, I still don't look good doing it. I think that when the doctor administered my epidural he must have went in too deep and punctured a tear duct. That's the only way that I can explain it. Yeah, I know what you're going to say - Hormones, blah, blah, blah. If that's the case then these hormones are vindictive sons of bitches because they get me when I'm not looking.

I expected to get a little teary when I saw my baby for the first time after giving birth. I expected to cry when, at 3am, she wouldn't sleep for the 10th night in a row. But I did not expect that when singing "You Are My Sunshine" to my two-day old daughter that I would break down in great racking sobs when I got to "...You'll never know, dear, how much I love you..."

And you can forget about the second verse.

I expected to be deeply touched when watching the evening news and catching another tragic story of a young child who had died. I did not expect that watching two of the last few episodes of Grey's Anatomy would send me into a crying jag. Or any fictional show involving a mother or a child (or, heaven help me, a baby) who is dying.

And I never imagined that the simple act of my 12 month old child giving my husband a big hug, complete with patting of the arms, and a big open-mouthed kiss would move me to tears.

I blame my daughter for turning this once stoic, self-controlled pragmatist into a weepy, blubbering mess of a woman.

And I thank her for it.

29 comments:

Bridgermama said...

Oh my gosh! I honestly think we share the same brain! First the Mama friend thing and now this (ok, so maybe all mamas go through this stuff and I am looking to establish a meaningful bond with a fellow mama...)! I too cried like a freak during Grey's anatomy last night! My neuroticism did not subside as I took one last peek at B before retiring to slumber land. I repositioned his "puppy" next to him and in his sleep he angelically clutched him and lay there with him in his arms. I cried and had to immediately share the moment with K. In the process, of telling him about the loving moment between B and his fuzzy friend, I cried some more. I am also a "blubbering mess of a woman" and I love it!

Kristen said...

I thought I was alone! I'm so glad I'm not the only one who can't stop crying! I cry at everything. Oprah, Hallmark commercials, those "having a baby changes everything" Johnson and johnson commercials...EVERYTHING. I guess our bodies change after you have a baby? Or maybe being "Mom" makes you more sensitive?

Christina said...

Yep, I'm a crier now as well. I never understood "happy crying" until I had a baby. I didn't even cry happy tears at my own wedding. But then I have a baby and suddenly it's all different.

Oh, and don't watch House tomorrow if you don't want another cry session - it's also about a mom and newborn baby.

Pattie said...

I hear you on all of that. I will admit, I didn't realize "You are my Sunshine" was such a tragic song...geez..that brought tears to my eyes.
I was a Pediatric nurse for 13 years before I had kids. I've seen it ALL....death, abuse, truly tragic things...I was always a crier. I knew after I had kids, I wouldn't be able to handle the dying thing like I used to. What seemed commonplace years ago is now replaced by thoughts of the unthinkable.
Isn't it amazing how your kid changes you in so many ways?

motherhooduncensored said...

I was a bit of a crier before - but now, it's just plain awful.

How can I turn it off? ACK!

mothergoosemouse said...

I made up my OWN words to the Sunshine song. I can't even sing the line "please don't take my sunshine away" because that dissolves me.

Having a child made all of those tragic stories so REAL to me. Not that I didn't think they were awful tragedies before I had kids, but when you have a terribly active and visual imagination like I do, even the most veiled descriptions of tragedies bring me to tears.

But the flip side, as you described, is that I have such ecstatic reactions to the smallest things. I never ever realized the joy I could feel, watching and holding and caring for these little people.

Carrcakes said...

Sunday nights on ABC are a catalyst for tears. Extreme Home Makeover + Grey's Anatomy = blubbering idiot.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD said...

Amen. (sob.)

kvetch said...

I cry less now - maybe because I'm just all cried out.

HeatherJ said...

Yes, I can become a teary mess while just watching my girls give each other hugs and kisses. They are so sweet.

I have learned to hate Gray's Anatomy. It was so sad last night that is actually made me feel depressed when I went to sleep.

Mommy off the Record said...

OMG, patting arms? Open-mouthed kiss? Your post is making ME want to cry. I guess I have the same affliction. :)

Kristin said...

saturday was my son's first communion and i cried through the entire service...

i'm with you.

something blue said...

I've always been quick with the tears. Sometimes I find a sappy flick will cure the leaky faucets for a few days.

I've learned that I can't watch dog shows. Something about dogs parading around makes me cry.

Mom101 said...

Get the Free to be You and Me soundtrack! I put on the song, "It's alright to cry" and let it flow, baby.

Okay, actually that's just an excuse. I start tearing up with the title song right off the bat. I mean, come on! A land where the children run free? Tearjerker!

Aunt Chicky Baby said...

Darling Sister, welcome to my world.

rhonda said...

I am a blubbering mess too. Man, I cried the whole time at MJ's First Holy Communion :)

Tori said...

I cried just a few minutes ago when I saw on the news that the two miners in Tasmania got out and hugged their wives...

I have totally lost the plot!

J's Mommy said...

That has happened to me, too. Movies, television, commercials, even strangers who are crying can make me break down. I'm a mess most of the time.

Izzy said...

Ohhhhhh..the slobbery open-mouth kisses on my cheek. You're KILLING me! My son gives me one of those and I have to force myself to not weep.

Everything makes me cry. "A Baby Story", weddings, funerals, "Greys Anatomy" last Sunday, anything sad with children...forget it. All of these turn me into a blubbering crybaby.

I've always been a crier but having babies intensified it majorly.

Were we blog friends when I posted about crying when reading other people's blogs? Because I do that, too. lol

Jess Riley said...

Oh, what a great post! I'm a crier now; I can only imagine how dehydrated I'll be from crying after J and I have children.

My mother in law used to sing "You are my Sunshine" to my husband when he was little; just thinking of him as a little boy is making me tear up right now! Oh geez...

Chaotic Mom said...

THIS was an absolutely BEAUTIFUL post!

I'm not a crier, either, more of a Charles Bronson movie watching kind of gal. But my kids have brought out more tears in me than I'd have ever imagined. Now I'm catching myself and trying NOT to cry in front of them, to keep from upsetting THEM more by watching me cry. Sigh...

Ooooh! I'm going to read the next post down now! I can only see the title, moving on...

Blog Antagonist said...

Same thing here! It's perspective, I believe. When my son was about a year old, a toddler died in the woods after his father left him sleeping in the pick-up while he went hunting. He awoke and went looking for Daddy. The feety pajamas he was wearing were worn through from walking around in circles. I could not sleep for a month thinking about that poor little baby walking around calling for his Daddy. Before having children, I would have though..."Oh, how sad" and gone on with my life. After having children, it haunted me.

Things I would once have watched with pragmatic detachment now have me curled up in a puddle of tears.

And you're right...that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Hey, have you read Robert Munsch's "I'll love you forever"? It's a ten hanky book.

Elizabeth said...

I was about to say how I wasn't really a cryer and then I read blog antagonist's comment about the toddler dying and sweet Jebus here come the tears.

I sing "You are my Sunshine" only I change "you'll never know, dear" to "you'll ALWAYS know, dear". And that book "I'll Love You Forever"-leaves me choked up every time. Another book that gets me is called "You are my I Love You". WAAAAHHH!

Blog Antagonist said...

I'm so sorry. What an insensitive ass I am. I shouldn't have told that story...I just wasn't thinking. My apologies to everybody. Mrs. Chicky, please feel free to delete that comment. My feelings won't be hurt.

sunshine scribe said...

I was actually a crier before and now I am a faucet. I cry at everything. You are my Sunshine. Sappy kids books. Sad stories on the news. Everything.

mo-wo said...

I am so glad you have exposed the havoc wreaked in the lives of mothers by that damn Sunshine song.

Waaaahhhhh, boooo hooo hoo. Thank you.
(no offense sunshine scribe!)

Domestic Chicky said...

Add me to the club...TV crier, book crier, blog crier, now comment cryer (lol)

Her Bad Mother said...

I've always been a crier. Now I'm a sobber. A drop-o-the-hat sobber.

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