Like most mothers, I have wiped away buckets of tears in my time. My daughters came into the world squalling, and they've been doing it consistently ever since. Through scraped knees and overstimulating birthday parties and games of Chutes and Ladders gone horribly wrong and friends moving away, they've always been good at letting their feelings out, secure in the knowledge that Mom would be there with a Kleenex and a hug. But over the last several months, I've been the one doing most of the crying. And I've found myself in dark new territory, caught between the imperative to set the good example of expressing natural emotions and an instinctive desire to shield my children from life's harshest knocks.So what do you think? Do you cry in front of your kids? Should you cry in front of your kids?
Until fairly recently, the only time my kids saw me reduced to sobs was during the final minutes of "Up" or "Charlotte's Web." Then, in fairly rapid succession, I got cancer, one of my best friends got cancer, and two members of my family died. It's been waterworks ever since. And my kids have been right in the front row for a lot of them.
Monday, May 30, 2011
Crying in Front of the Kids
My year of tears, about crying in front of the kids, was certainly timely, what with Memorial Day at the National Cemetery where my dad's ashes are interred and the one year anniversary of his death approaching: