Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mummy, my tears are dropping

Young sir has a very sweet phrase that he uses when he is crying. 'My tears are dropping' he says, looking into your eyes with his little bottom lip wobbling and sure enough, tears falling down his cheek.

Tears are funny things. You can not stop them and those of us with less thespian talents in us can't force them out. They just come.

Tears of joy...sadness...relief...pain...

When you are little the tears usually come because you have hurt yourself...grazed knees, bumped heads, cut fingers - and they are usually healed with the magic power of kiss and a plaster.

Couple of nights ago we read about Joseph and when his brothers sold him to slavery. One of the illustrations is his father holding the bloodied coat with tears in his eyes. Young sir was very upset about the 'daddy being sad' and had tears in his little eyes thinking of the 'daddy missing his son'.

It is the first time I've seen tears in his eyes because of someone else's pain - even if it was just an illustration - and it made me all squeezy in a good way and sad at the same time as I knew that this was his first introduction to pain that can not be healed with kiss and a plaster, pain that touches your heart. I still gave a kiss (it still is the universal mums' remedy for everything), assured him that the daddy would see his boy again and we prayed Jesus to make his heart happy again.

I have a vivid childhood memory of listening to Heidi on cd (long ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth and there were no dvds) and sobbing my little heart out when Heidi had to leave her grandfather and not knowing whether she'd be back. There is something quite powerful about words being able to impact you in a way that evokes emotions.

Anne of Green Gables was one of my favourite books when I was little. The last book in the series Rilla of Ingleside has a paragraph that always opens my tearducts. The book is set in the First World War and there is a faithful little dog called Dog Monday who has been waiting at the station for years for his master to return:

"A black-and-yellow streak shot past the station agent. Dog Monday stiff? Dog Monday rheumatic? Dog Monday old? Never believe it. Dog Monday was a young pup, gone clean mad with rejuvenating joy.

He flung himself against the tall soldier, with a bark that choked in his throat from sheer rapture. He flung himself on the ground and writhed in a frenzy of welcome. He tried to climb the soldier's khaki legs and slipped down and groveled in an ecstasy that seemed as if it must tear his little body in pieces. He licked his boots and when the lieutenant had, with laughter on his lips and tears in his eyes, succeeded in gathering the little creature up in his arms Dog Monday laid his head on the khaki shoulder and licked the sunburned neck, making queer sounds between barks and sobs.

The station agent had heard the story of Dog Monday. He knew now who the returned soldier was. Dog Monday's long vigil was ended. Jem Blythe had come home."

As parents we often want to shield our child(ren) from pain and there is a side to it that is good. But too much protection can give us unrealistic expectations of what life is like. It is important to learn that there is sadness as well as joy. Tears as well as laughter and sometimes there is tears and laughter mingled together. Keeping our heart soft enough to be able to empathise with the pain and joy of others is hard and you may get hurt in the process at times but it is still so much better than shutting your heart completely from pain as by doing that you are also reducing your ability to feel joy.

Laugh. Cry. Rejoice. Be sad. Live!


mamadeano said...

a beautiful post, really made me think :)

The Lindseys said...

Thank you :)