Responsible parenting and leadership are a start. In between reaching for the sky (Toy Story rocks).

Screw the darkness. I prefer the lightness of Pop.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

A Bhive-Sized Group Hug Cry

They hadn't noticed the tears already leaking out the corners of both my eyes. I kept wiping them away quickly, not because I was ashamed for crying, but because I worried it would make them upset.

The Mama was away at a Kidpower workshop and Daddy was in charge. The girls and I already had a happy afternoon of pizza and ice cream and then we came home to watch the animated movie Home, a story about friendship and looking out for the friends and family you love.

This of course was an unrealistic wish, for them to not see me cry, since both girls are older now and more aware of themselves and the world around them, their level of empathy awakened forever. And the fact that they've already seen Daddy cry many times. Thank goodness for this, both seeing Daddy cry and their awakened empathy. And although they're still young, the Mama and I have nurtured their emotional intelligence since the first glimpse of their empathic differentiation.

I am a proud, self-admitted cryer. Happy or sad, my tears have flowed freely from my earliest memories. I still remember quite vividly my 4th grade teacher Mr. Tapilaris reading Where the Red Fern Grows to the class, the story of a boy and his dogs. The year before my parents had gotten divorced and my beloved Australian Shepard at the time, Poco was her name, went to live with my soon to be estranged birth father.

But I never was teased much if at all about being a cryer. That's always struck me as odd growing up being a boy and not being teased for being a girlie-girl or a sissy or a cry-baby. It was just never a thing for me, my immediate friends or family or others who knew me, so from the outsiders' perspective, it wasn't a thing for them either.

So the Mama and I don't want it to be a thing for Beatrice or Bryce growing up either. We want them to be comfortable of their own emotional responses to those they come in contact with throughout their lives and the world at large. The Mama is not a cryer like I am, although I've seen her cry. We tease each other about our respective crying thresholds, but it's always about embracing what makes up our whole selves and why we love each other.

Bryce is like me this way, the intense deep feeler who's up and down and up and down and all heart smeared all over her sleeves and every other inch of her, light years from impulse control. Even when I finally overcame the impulse drive, I still cry at almost anything laced with happy or sad.

Up until quite recently we thought Bea was more like the Mama as well. However, after I had already been crying during the movie Home, I looked over at Bea sitting on our couch and she had her new signature crying face queued up -- both sets of fingers shoved into her mouth as if she were trying to stop herself from throwing up. Then the tears welled and flowed freely. That was then the catalyst for Bryce to start crying, and in a New York minute all three of us were crying.

Channeling the Mama, I did take the time to discuss why the girls (and me) were feeling what they were feeling. I'm proud to be empathically balanced Big Daddy Girl and don't think of it as a derogatory label, at least not in the context of a Bhive-sized group hug cry.

You feel me?

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