Sunday, December 16, 2012

Cry baby

I am a crier. I cry when I'm sad, I cry when I'm really happy. I am a sappy, sentimental person. I cried at Stella's dance recital, cried when they went to the dentist for the first time, cry in celebration of both children's birthdays every year. I cry when I look at pictures, when I reminisce, when I think of them growing up. I cried when Russell and I got married and again when we renewed our vows. I cry when I'm a jerk to my kids or my husband. I cry when I think of all the sacrifices my mom made for me. Sweet commercial on T.V.? Yep, I'm a sucker for those. My mom used to give me a hard time as a kid because there were two songs that made me cry EVERY time I heard them- and I mean just the first few notes.  (Me and Little Andy by Dolly Parton and Smoky Mountain Rain by Ronnie Milsap, in case you're curious). The thing is, I HATE crying in front of people. Despite my soft gooey inside, it is vitally important to me that I keep my hard candy shell. I prefer to deal with my shit on my own. But I feel things deeply and I always have. Its one of the many reasons I feel super connected to Stella; I sense the same thing in her. If she gets upset, her immediate response is to leave the room and go deal with it on her own. Roy is no less sensitive, he just lets it all out :)
So this time of year will find me carrying tissues around without fail. I LOVE the holiday season! Which means I'll be really happy and sappy, so I'll cry a lot :) Always have, always will. My mom once told me that when you stop believing in Santa, you stop getting presents. That struck a chord as a kid, as you can imagine. But as I've gotten older, the meaning of that statement, while still very significant, has shifted for me. Obviously it is easy to get caught up in the commercialism of the season, but for me the tangible gifts are not the important thing. I have always been blessed with a giving, loving family. Of course I loved the presents as a kid, but I loved the traditions more. Waking up at the crack of dawn (sorry mom), spending the day in my pj's at my grandmother's house, eating oyster stew, listening to Christmas music, putting up the tree; all of it was so full of joy and excitement. For me, the "believing in Santa" is about the magic of childhood, the joy of family, the love of something bigger than unwrapping presents.
Now that I'm a mom and I'm married to a man who gets just as giddy about Christmas as I do (almost), this time of year is even better. It is true that seeing the magic of the season through the eyes of a child is amazingly sweet and exciting. I have plenty of friends who are not Christian, or don't celebrate Christmas and obviously, to each her own. I'm not the person who gets offended by someone saying Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. I'm also not the type to quote scripture to someone else or proclaim indignantly that "Jesus is the Reason for the Season!" Everyone's beliefs are equally important; this is not the time for judgement.  My wish for everyone this season is that we all take the time to find whatever it is that is magical for us and try and pass that on to someone else. Put the cynicism on the shelf for a little while. Open your hearts, let the tears flow freely, let the love out to those around you.

P.S. Yes mom, I still cry when I hear those songs :)

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