I cried at the hairdresser’s today. Yep, right there in her chair while her hands were in my hair. I was talking to her about how, if I had waited for the perfect circumstances to have more children, I would probably have stopped at three kids and missed the last three I have now. As I said those words, tears came to my eyes, more than they can hold, and they fell on my face. She thought she had sprayed my face. I had to tell her it was me.
I am so mystified by this. I don’t cry in front of others if I can help it. I have said those words about my kids before without crying, lots of times. Even weirder? I cried at the same point again when I retold this story to my family. It was just as surprising and involuntary then. What does it mean?
Am I crying for the children I am not having now? I feel at peace with shutting down that season of my life. Were there hormones released while talking in a relaxed environment with another woman? This poor woman has not been my stylist that long. I didn’t want to explain to her for fear of crying more. Not that I really could explain, obviously.
I grew up in a house where crying was a problem. If you started, you need to stop as soon as possible, sooner actually. I would cry at my piano lessons out of frustration and tell the teacher I had something in my eyes. I cried one day at school and told everyone I just needed my allergy drops. I cried in 6th grade math because I couldn’t get it. I wanted to disappear.
I spent most of my adult life trying to rein that in. I cry less and less for each year I live. I tell my kids to cry when they are sad all they want but crying out of frustration makes things worse. My family sees me well up a lot, but not full on crying.
I cry at movies all the time. That one scene in Sense and Sensibility where Emma Thompson makes that unearthly noise of relief and joy gets me every time, and I have watched it a lot of times.
No one cries alone with me. Anyone crying will set me off. God just recently pointed out to me that crying is the one emotional response we can’t hide. Anger, happiness, fear even, but all the emotions that cause crying, all the kinds of crying, are so visible. I think He was trying to tell me that we shouldn’t ever do it alone. It is our soul’s way of signalling our need for others to come along side us. When God came to us as a human, he cried too. Not just in the one famously short verse, but multiple times. Crying is so essentially human.
Obviously, the subject of crying is something I need to give more thought to. I would love to cry freely when appropriate. I would love to learn how to stop it on command for my daughter’s upcoming wedding. I would love to know what to say to others when they cry. I would love to know what to tell my hairdresser.
Has anything like this ever happened to you? Let’s talk about crying openly as a start to crying openly. I already went. You go ahead, in the comment box below.