I have a very clear memory about some things and a very foggy memory about others. One thing that tends to stick with me is music and I distinctly recall singing a song in 5th grade music class that went:
It's all right to cry. Crying gets the sad out of you. It's all right to cry. It might make you feel better.
I thought this song was lame in fifth grade, and it's a bit silly now, but that doesn't mean it's not true! I've been single-momming it with a three-year-old and a one-year-old for 4 months now. Four long months filled with crappy Skype connections, spilled everything, firing the housekeeper, potty training, ER visits, croup, thrush, diaper rash....oh, did I mention that I work full-time clerking at the highest court in the Air Force, a FEDERAL COURT?
I'm not really a cryer - I leave that to one of my sisters (don't worry, I won't say which one!) but these last four months have brought me to tears on several occasions, even prompting Avery to stop whatever he's doing that's pushed me to the breaking point to stare in awe at me. Sometimes I feel guilty, like I'm not being the role model he needs me to be when that happens, or I feel defeated as though millions of other single moms can do this and I can't.
But then one day, I ran into my neighbor at the store, a neighbor I don't know all that well, and we were chatting, and I blurted out that I've ended up in tears on more than one occasion. As I walked away, I thought, "That was a idiotic thing to say as she was singing your praises about doing this all on your own," but then I realized...that song is right.
It IS ok to cry. Now, it might not get the "sad" out of you, but it certainly might make you feel better. It's a natural and human reaction. It's an emotion that stops me from getting ulcers, from throwing things, from truly losing my mind. I release my frustrations through tears if it really gets to that point (anyone see Courage Under Fire? Meg Ryan's character did the same thing) and it's OK to do that. Avery can look to me and see that I'm a person with feelings, feelings that get hurt, a spirit that can get crushed. He can see that sometimes his actions make me sad, and when people are sad...they cry.
What better role model than someone real and genuine who can show him that everyone has those emotions? So, I'm not embarrassed to say that I've cried more than once out of frustration at a situation I didn't think would happen and that I wasn't ready for. I cry, it happens. It means I'm sad. And being sad it a part of life and a part of being human, and we're all allowed to feel that way without feeling embarrassed or guilty.