tearless cry baby

I’m a happy person. I had a lucky childhood, but I cried almost every day when I was a little kid. I remember thinking at the end of one day in third grade, it had been a good day—I hadn’t cried. I cried that often.

When I cried at home, I took off my glasses for the tears to fall easier and avoid getting my glasses smudgy—and found my mother.  Once dry-faced and comforted, I had no idea where I’d left my glasses. My mother would issue an APB to my sibs (all older): a reward for the child who found my specs. Almost all the rewards went my way: I’d remember where I’d set down the glasses. This did not make me popular.

What did I cry about? I have no idea. It’s just a thing I did. With increasing age, I cried less. I figured out in my early twenties that I sometimes cried when I was angry. This confused a lot of nice people. I figured out that I am more likely to cry when upset if someone touches me. I can hold it together until that hug. Please, don’t hug me if I look on the verge. I learned that I cry at high altitude, on Mount Rainier. (Apparently for some of us, this is a physiological response to thinner air.)

These days I don’t cry much. I’ve read Pema Chodron, Thich Nat Hahn, the Dalai Lama, and Matthieu Ricard. Has some understanding of them dried my tears? Is it hormonal? Am I more content? Am I happier than the happy child I was? Maybe, yes, to all of the above.

But at times I wish I could cry, and nothing happens.  Why aren’t I crying about the newly emptied nest, the loss of a longtime home, human mortality, etc.? Are tears waiting, pooled behind my eyeballs? Will they gush out one day soon? Surprise me? (That’s the thing I hate most about crying. Even when I don’t do it much, it still shows up when it’s public and embarrassing. People always want an explanation.)

It’s like menopause, the no crying. I’m expecting a pattern to repeat its unit element. I’ve known it so much of my life.

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About pamelahobartcarter

Pamela Hobart Carter is a writer and educator. She and Arleen Williams are No Talking Dogs Press. They have written several series of easy readers for adult English Language Learners and other adults learning to read. PHC is the author of Brace Yourself, a survival guide for adults undergoing orthodontia.
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5 Responses to tearless cry baby

  1. Stacy Lawson says:

    hmmmmm I used to cry a lot too… Then, I had a dry spell… Recently I noticed that I was once running wet.

  2. pam says:

    Thanks for reading, Stacy. It’s weird entering/creating a new pattern.

  3. pam says:

    Thanks, Kristin and Roxana. I appreciate your reading.

  4. Pingback: Happiest Man In the World | Stanwebb's Weblog

  5. Scott Sewell says:

    im in my mid forties and have crying moments at times, fairly often. my grandpa who I stayed with some as a teenager would as well I remember. really without reason too. in sweat lodge sometimes I would just really cry…maybe we just need a release, or an excuse or the proper setting, or familiarity of something…IDK, but I think its definitely okay because its so natural to happen, I think…thanks for sharing hey

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