So, here's the thing. I've become my mother.
Not completely, since I'm sure she'd argue that we are quite different in some ways. However, when I was a kid, and we'd be watching a particularly sappy movie on television, it was just a matter of time before I'd hear a huge sniff, and turn to see my mom wiping tears away.
"What?!" she'd say, starting to laugh through her tears.
And if my dad happened to walk in? Oh, my gosh... forget it. He'd give a good-natured hard time, laugh and go get her a box of tissues.
Now, that crying person is... me.
Gradually, over the past God-knows-how-many years, I've noticed a tendency to well up with tears if a really sad song was on the radio. Or, say, a really good, heart-string-tugging Hallmark commercial came on. Then, last Christmas, we were sitting in church and the pastor asked us to all stand and sing with the choir.
I had been secretly crying to Christmas carols at that point for a month. And now, here I was, biting my lip to keep from completely losing my shit while everyone else harmonized on "O Come, All Ye Faithful." I tried averting my own attention by focusing on Bobby, pointing out all the pretty lights in the decorations. It worked. A little.
Fast forward a few months to March, when we kicked off the month with Bobby's first birthday. I couldn't even sing Happy Birthday to him, because I couldn't make it through the song without breaking down. Then, my beloved Butler Bulldogs became the unexpected, Cinderella-story of the entire NCAA basketball tournament. As they ticked off wins from the Sweet Sixteen to the Elite Eight, I would celebrate each win with an enthusiastic cheer -- and teary eyes. The day they made it into the Final Four, I got a double-whammy: as they were winning their game, Jack, Charlie and Sam were winning a tournament game in their indoor flag football league.
I. Was. A. Mess.
After that, during the boys' baseball season, I became extremely grateful for my sunglasses and their ability to cover my teary eyes. The boys had phenomenal seasons (Jack had his first Grand Slam!), ending with Sam's team AND Jack & Charlie's team winning their division championships. As long as I could keep the tears from sliding down my cheeks, I was good. Come to think of it, it was so damn Hell hot out there, anyone who noticed might just have assumed the tears were sweat.
Earlier this week, Lindy tipped me off to a new Kenny Chesney song, "The Boys of Fall." I am not a Country fan in the least; however, I gave the song a listen (finding the eight-minute video online) and almost completely lost my composure. Hello?!?! The song is about football!! How can I possibly cry at football? (It's a hell of a video, people. Check it out. Bring a tissue.) And in the past 24 hours, I have worked up a good cry about a half-dozen times thanks to the Chilean miners rescue. I really think you'd have to have a heart of stone to NOT cry for each and every one of those men, their families and friends as they emerged from the Phoenix capsule. Naturally, for me, getting all worked up and not letting out a good cry has resulted in the mother of all headaches. And the continuing urge to cry.
Before I completely take my red-eyed, quivering-chin award and call it a day, let me add that I am not alone. Someone I know -- someone of the male gender -- has previously been called out for crying at a movie. And it wasn't even the All-Time-Male-Approved-Movie-to-Cry-To (Brian's Song). Are you ready for this? It was... The Little Mermaid. And, he's further admitted to crying at the close of some Lord of the Rings film, but I forget which one.
And now, after coming clean and admitting to being a big crybaby, perhaps I'll just let the tears flow freely the next time I find myself moved to do so. What's the point of holding it in? None that I can see. Other than the fact that I will end up looking like a big, ol' sobbing raccoon as mascara runs all over my face. Hello, waterproof mascara! Where the hell are my tissues?
And Mom? If you read this, you totally have permission to call me out, poke fun and laugh if you catch me getting all sappy. You owe me a few.