It seems that having children brings out a new side to any parent. Moms and dads alike discover a love like no other they've ever felt and therefore, their emotions are unleashed sometimes without any control. Even the strongest of men break down into blubbering fools at the site of their newborn baby. I guess it's just God's way of reminding us of one the reasons He puts us here on earth.
However, I didn't realize that these uncontrolled sappy responses don't just occur at the birth of a baby. They can happen anytime or anywhere for some of the most ridiculous reasons. Plus, I have never been much of an emotional person so this switch that flipped after having kids has really baffled me over the years.
Before becoming a mom, I did my best not to let anyone see me cry. I pretended to always be "fine" and have things under control. If I did have to cry, I made for darn sure I was alone, and hated it when people around me started shedding tears. I never understood why my sappy Mom was always bawling at movies or sniffled through a card I gave her. She was always crying; at church singing hymns, in the car when a certain song came on or just in mid-conversation about random things. I don't know how many times I rolled my eyes, thinking "there she goes again."
Well, let me tell ya, I'm SO there and the thing is, I never know what's going to set me off. I knew I was heading down this path several years ago because I cried more during the first week after my oldest daughter was born then I had in 20 years. I cried because she was so perfect and beautiful. I cried in the shower when I looked down at my empty stomach, even though just a week before I couldn't wait for her to be out of it. I cried when we left the hospital, when my mom left to go back home and many times during the day while just staring at her tiny little face.
From then on, I knew that I was going to be susceptible to a lot more crying. I had no idea that was why my mom was so emotional, or all moms for that matter. It's not in any the medical books that I read, but from what I gather, once you become pregnant, your tear gland muscles fail to control the tear production and they work with your senses to flow like Niagara Falls at the drop of a hat.
Well, just what I did to my poor mom is now being done to me. It irritates my oldest daughter to no end to see me start to cry. Instead of crying with me or offering a hug, she gives me this crooked lip look and asks in such a pesty voice, "You're not gonna cry, are ya?"
Upon hearing that, it takes about all I have in me, to suck up that oversized lump in my throat and fend of the impending tears. Sometimes, I just respond, "No, I'm fine," and then lock myself in the laundry room to finish my emotional moment.
If she only knew how often when she's in school that something silly will make me cry. TV commercials are the worst, whether it's greeting cards or the sad faces of the animals waiting in the shelter. The other day it was a movie about a famous horse winning races that made me blubber like a baby. I was praying no one came to the door unexpectedly. I'll even admit that I've been known to cry when catching the end of a low budget talk show when they reveal the results of "who's your baby's daddy." It's really quite ridiculous what might trigger the waterworks.
This last weekend it happened again with my oldest girl at my side. We went to the Nebraska football game in Lincoln. The girls know how much I love the Huskers, but they still make fun of me when I get goose bumps during the tunnel walk song, or yell and holler when the Huskers get a touchdown.
However, I can handle the mocking because I truly love Husker football.
Yet, this last weekend I pulled a new one. When Tom Osborne came on the jumbo screen to talk the crowd and encourage the players, everyone cheered then stopped to listen to him. But guess who stood there in silence with a big ol' lump in her throat and tears welling up in her eyes?
Just seeing Tom and hearing him talk, unlocked something in my heart and made me want to weep with joy. My daughter, standing next to me noticed my stillness and after scanning my face asked, "You're not gonna cry, are ya? It's just Tom Osborne, Mom."
"I know, just hush," I told her, and then distracted myself in hopes of quashing the tears. Actually, I couldn't believe it myself. I mean, Tom is my hero and all, but crying about it ... really?
My emotion control switch must be getting rusty because I'm starting to even embarrass myself. In know one thing for sure, I need to call my mom and apologize.