It was winter out. Icy, frigid, gray.
I found myself sitting in the Skinny Pancake at Burlington Airport, waiting for my outbound flight to Newark, NJ. I was going to the funeral and services for my dear, cherished aunt. I had a plate full of brie and apple crepes in front of me and I sobbed my eyes out. It wasn’t for the loss of my aunt. That was still yet to come. It was because I missed my kids. It was the first time ever that I had been away from them. This one was a whopper. Saturday until Wednesday. WEDNESDAY! I forked heaping mouthfuls of the velvety tart goodness into my mouth, and simultaneously felt incredulous for the fact that I was eating and enjoying crepes in peace and absolutely losing my s**t over the fact that no one was demanding a bite.
“What is wrong with me? Why can’t I control my emotions?” I thought.
I got it together, finished my dish and proceeded to the book section for a good on-flight read.
Months later I texted with a friend who described her raccoon eyes to me. She was at Burlington Airport, sobbing over the two kids she left at home for the first time ever. And unbelievably, she was also sitting in front of her own plate of crepes, wishing her husband was there to help her finish them.
“Everyone keeps looking at me like I’m crazy. Why doesn’t anyone smile?”
I wanted to drive to the airport and hug her and cry with her.
I was so angry at the travelers shooting her sideways glances. Why couldn’t someone give her a Kleenex or a chocolate? Anything! But no. She was alone with her food, missing her family. People treated her like she was contagious.
The truth? I cry a lot.
I cry when I have to leave my kids.
I cry when the ceiling in my shower is getting moldy.
I cry at the end of the Lego Movie.
I cry when the toddler boy next door shoots me a hammy smile and throws me a casual wave.
I cry when my kindergartner is sad because her student teacher is leaving.
I cry when I read Marisa de Los Santos.
I cry when I feel like I have no patience left.
I cry at parades.
I cry when I think about the first time I saw Maggie’s newborn chick-fluff hair.
I cry when my husband tells me how beautiful I am. (Thanks, honey. Happy tears!)
I cry during Grey’s Anatomy.
I cry when my kids are crying.
I cry when my neighbor plays his bagpipes.
I cry because I miss my family in NJ.
I cry because someone listened to me. And didn’t judge.
I cry because I am so lucky.
I cry because my kids gave me a cupcake bracelet and the ugliest most comfortable slippers ever.
I cry because in my job I get to witness some of the strongest kids around do the most amazing things.
I cry when my daughter hands me wilting dandelions.
It’s not because I’m emotional. It’s not because I’m a “typical woman”, or worse a “hot mess of a mother.” I cry because I do. I’m sensitive to the seconds and minutes around me. And sometimes it’s just so full. So I cry. Sometimes the act of crying feels great. Sometimes it feels awful, but I accept it.
And then I feel better. And I carry on.
So if it looks like I have allergies one day when we bump into each other at the market, I don’t. I’ve been crying. Maybe it’s because Paul the produce man knows how much my kids like banana bread so he’s saved some perfectly ripe bananas for me.
Are you a crier? Let it out. There’s nothing wrong with you.