My Tears Have A Clock Of Their Own; Yours, Too?
“Did you cry?”
There you have the number one thing my daughter wanted to know, as she quizzed me like I was a guilty suspect and she was a top detective on CSI.
Truth is, I can’t really blame her.
As I’ve shared with you Dear Reader, since becoming a parent, I’ve become a crier.
If you ask my kids, they will tell you that I cry at the most ridiculous times.
I cried when one filled out a form for a passport.
To think—the adventures the world will show her!
Cried when another jumped off the high dive for first time.
Oh, the courage!
The family stories go on and on.
So there we were last weekend at Daughter’s first ever cross country meet.
Daughter who, how shall we say this, is not the fastest cougar in the jungle.
Daughter who, how shall we say this, we weren’t very confident she could finish the entire 3.1 mile race without stopping.
I could easily make the case there would be grounds for crying as I saw her—
Facing something daunting and scary, wearing her school colors for the first time, running cross country like I did when I was in high school.
I thought about my daughter’s question.
“Well, I pre-cried,” I said.
“You pre-cried?” she rolled her eyes in the horror of my never-ending mother weirdness.
Dear Reader, do your tears, too, have a clock of their own?
“As I walked and scouted the course before you ran, I had a moment,” I explained to my daughter.
“Well, a few moments, actually, where I pictured you putting one foot in front of the other, of pumping your arms, of not giving up, just like we talked about. And yeah, I got choked up thinking about it. I cried then.”
“And during the actual race?”
“Honestly, I got so busy cheering you on, taking pictures, and running from one point to the next to see you as many times as possible that I think I forgot to cry during the actual race.”
“So you pre-cried,” my husband asked me later that day.
“Oh, you heard about that?”
“Oh, it’s already part of family legend,” he smiled. “The Pre-Cry.”
In another life, i.e., when I was single, I suppose I would’ve been embarrassed.
But being married and a mom means no emotion is your own. It’s all out there for the family to see, naked as a plucked turkey on Thanksgiving Day.
And now it is with you, Dear Reader.
You, who I bet understands the concept of a pre-cry, how the very thought of something emotional can turn on the water works before an actual event takes place.
And you, who I bet understands the post-cry, as well: Tears that come long after.
Long after saying goodbye to someone you love.
Long after making it through an obstacle you once couldn’t see your way around.
Did I mention my daughter finished the race without stopping?
I’m afraid I have to wrap it up here.
I feel a post-cry coming on.
And if you like my column about this motherhood thing, you might like my book–