Before I had a kid, I cried from cracks or breaks in my heart. I cried when I watched love stories like, well…Love Story and The Way We Were. I cried even more from laughter when I watched slapstick and/or stupid comedies like Just Friends, Old School or anything written, directed and produced by Judd Apatow. Crying occurred, but infrequently and almost always during a “cycle”.
Now, after having a kid, crying is a part of my daily routine, in times of sickness (raging hormones) and health (a decent night of sleep). Crying occurs in times of sap (movies, shows and moments with my daughter) and sympathy (watching my daughter sad or hurt). Crying is about as frequent as peeing with a post-pregnancy bladder.
I now know why mothers always have under-eye puffiness or what I like to call Mom Eye. Sleep is a luxury and crying is a routine occurrence. Under-eye cream containing caffeine is a mom’s best friend, along with red-eye-reducing eye drops.
I cry because I’m constantly thinking of my kid and the possibilities in her life. When I watch reality TV competitions, like the XFactor, and the camera keeps panning back and forth from the kid to the parent, I have a box of Kleenex nicely nestled on my lap. When a kid thanks their parents, I’m a blithering idiot lost in sentiment. I picture my daughter accepting an award someday and including me in her acceptance speech or forgetting me, which makes me cry even more.
Watching my daughter try new things, I wonder whether she’ll love and master something wonderful in her life. She plays the piano, so will she be a concert pianist or play a different instrument and be part of a rock band? She loves soccer, so will she strive to be the next Mia Hamm or be happy even if she just scores the winning goal in a game? She loves ballet, so will she want the lead in The Nutcracker and wait on pins and needles for the cast list or just be happy with a small part? Success is trying and loving what she does, which will bring tears to my eyes, no matter what makes her happy.
The thought that she tries in life and puts her heart into things makes me cry. The other day her teacher handed us a sheet where she had written her full name over and over again. Two months ago, she could only write her first name and it was nearly unreadable. It was such a little milestone, but still made my vision go blurry from a tiny well of tears.
She still gives me hugs and kisses, which I cherish, because I know they may one day disappear. Every time she voluntarily does, it tugs on my heartstrings and releases a tear or two. She still calls me Mama or Mommy and hasn’t reduced it to the three-letter “Mom”.
Some days, and they are not many; she spends the entire day doing the opposite of what I ask her to and then my husband lets me know he’ll be late, so when I get a minute in the toilet room, I let out a few tears.
Am I doomed to have tears until she’s 18 or is it never-ending, now that I have my mini-me?