The Crying Game

Last week I went to a friend’s birthday party. Micah stayed home with the boys while I went and hung out with two other couple, ate tasty Indian food, devoured some white chocolate cheesecake with raspberry syrup, and read questions from Table Topics: Couples Edition. It’s always a joy to peek into somebody else’s relationship to see what makes it tick. But I bet they can’t say the same for me.

Seriously. I don’t remember all the questions that I got asked but here are a few I do remember:

Q: “What behavior do you only engage in when your spouse isn’t around?”

*Silence*

A: “Um, eating chocolate chips? . . . Gosh, I know there’s probably something else. Hmm. I can’t really think of anything . . . hmmm . . . oh, wait, I know. Yelling at the kids.”

Wow. Way to live on the edge, Lizzie.

Oh, and then there was this one:

Q: “What activity from your single life can you no longer engage in now that you are married?” (Or something along those lines.)

A: “Um. I don’t know . . . (thinking) . . . I don’t think you realize how little my life has changed since I got married. Hmmm . . . I don’t stay out as late? But really, that’s because of the boys, not because of Micah. I must have lived a very boring life back in the day . . . oh, dancing. I don’t really dance any more because Micah doesn’t like to dance.”

And, finally, this:

Q: “What should your spouse know about what kinds of gifts you like and don’t like?”

A: “Well, he should know I like books. What I don’t like? Um, hmm. I can’t think of anything I wouldn’t like. I guess maybe anything that would require me having to find a baby-sitter.” (Can I get an amen on that?)

But really, I shouldn’t bore you with my boring boringness any more. Because I’m sure it’s boring to hear the boring thoughts inside my boring head.What I really wanted to do was to share a moment that I was reminded of at this party when the subject of emotional stability was brought up and the question of whether you cry (0r not) in front of your spouse.

Now, Micah has seen me cry plenty of times. Mostly when we were engaged, I’m pretty sure, although there is photographic evidence that I cried on our wedding day — because he sang to me. But some since then as well. In general, however, I’m not much of a crier and certainly not in front of people. This was brought home to me recently when I actually did cry in front of people. Those people being my children. It crossed my mind that they might freak out since this is such a rare occurrence, and they might try to console me or be super nice to me for a little while. But instead of being super nice and giving me hugs and telling me I would be okay, this is what Manchild said:

“So, Mom. When you cry, this is what you do. You take your hands like this, and you wipe the water off your face with them like this . . . .”

And that’s when I realized that, having never seen me do this before (at least not at an age he could remember), he didn’t know that I’m actually an old pro at the crying game. Even better than him, I’d venture to say. Although, truth be told, he’s had plenty of practice. Mostly when his dad’s not around, of course, and I’m free to behave as badly as I want.

What about you? Do you cry in front of your kids? How do they handle it?

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6 Comments

  1. My kids have seen me cry and they are sweet or shocked usually- but what I want to comment on is your sweet picture! You are a beautiful woman Lizzie H.

    [Reply]

    lizzie Reply:

    You are too kind, Stephanie. I assume you mean the picture of me in my wedding dress, and not the one taken on Micah’s phone, on the train, when we’d just come out of the rain and I look a little bit like an old school marm. 🙂

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  2. I have only cried in front of my 3-year-old a couple of times, but when I do he asks me to stop, because, you know, I’m the mom and it’s my job to keep it together; only HE is allowed to cry. It’s sweet that your little guy tried to give you some crying instruction–a very typically male response: see woman in distress, try to give logical advice. I must say that I do enjoy gifts that require a babysitter IF as part of the gift my husband arranges the babysitting in advance.

    [Reply]

    lizzie Reply:

    Ah yes, the typical male response. I hadn’t realized that is what he was doing. Well, it’s good to know he’s in good company.

    And I would consider it gift enough if I somehow never had to find a babysitter again — but still got to go out and have a good time with my husband.

    [Reply]

  3. I don’t cry much in front of the husband or kids. And, when I did once, my son was confused. He asked me why I was crying (frustration, pain etc.). And, that was the end. I can’t think of much I don’t do in front of the husband.

    [Reply]

    lizzie Reply:

    It’s not that I have anything against crying in front of Micah, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I get stage fright. If I have an audience, it’s a no-go. Usually. 🙂

    [Reply]

  4. First of all, Micah sang to you at your wedding? I may or may not have wanted to shed a tear thinking about that. I’m a total crier, so L and the husband have seen me cry too much already. Ah well…

    [Reply]

    lizzie Reply:

    He did indeed. He sang “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds. Any one would cry on their wedding day if their new husband sang them that, right?

    [Reply]

  5. I cry a lot. Mostly, because if someone else cries, than I cry. I just can’t help myself. So, basically every time I read a sad book, watch a sad show, or someone cries in church, I cry too. Dan is just used to it now. Grant has seen me a couple of times, but he laughed because he thought it was funny. I guess he’s too young to really understand though.

    [Reply]

    lizzie Reply:

    I remember the first time Manchild saw me cry, too, actually. He was less than a year old and he thought it was hilarious. He was laughing as I was crying on the phone to Micah, and it turned out for the best because even though I was crying too hard to tell Micah what was up (my brother had a stroke), he knew the baby was okay. So it all worked out. 🙂

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  6. I’m pretty much a pro at crying in front of my kids. They are the sweetest and always comfort me, giving me hugs and saying, “It’s okay mom. It’s going to be okay.” as they pat me on the back.

    [Reply]

    lizzie Reply:

    You are teaching them well, Shelley. They will bless your name when they are the only boys who know how to comfort a crying girl.

    [Reply]

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