Tears. Liquid emotion. Sadness, fear, frustration, happiness, joy. Tears when you're in pain. Tears when you're tired.
Before I became a mother I couldn't stand to hear crying babies. If ever I was holding my infant neices or nephew and their tears started to fall, I would instantly give them back to their rightful parents. I had no clue how to soothe their tears. Were they crying because of me? Was I holding them wrong? Were they uncomfortable? Hungry? Wet?
Baby tears confused and scared me. And I simply couldn't deal.
Then I had Sweetie. And she cried. Within her first hour of life she cried. And I was there to comfort her. I instintively knew what to do to ease her cries and stop her tears. Her tears didn't confuse or scare me. All I knew was that my newly dubbed Sweetie needed me. And I was there.
I soothed her. And she soothed me.
As Sweetie grew I was able to more clearly define what her many different cries signified. Hunger. Discomfort. Frustration. And even though I could not walk around with her, giving her a fresh view on her little world, I could sit with her on the couch and rock her in my arms, singing softly into her ear. She and I bonded during these times and I mastered my ability to stop her tears quickly and calmly.
As a toddler Sweetie became more and more of a Daddy's girl. And she began to understand more and more about what I am physically able to do - and not do - for her. Her tears turned into pleas for, Daddy, I want up! I was no use to her. I could not deliver. Her tears, which I once felt so comfortable with remedying, became a source of frustration and anger for me. Instead of seeing her tears and thinking, My poor baby. I know how to help, they now only brought forth my quick temper and frustration. I could not physically help her, and that was that.
Now Sweetie is beginning to use her tears for manipulation. And I am beginning to rethink my views on tears once again. Returning to my roots - I don't like hearing cries and seeing tears. Not when they're only used in an attempt to gain something desirable, anyway. When a certain little girl doesn't get what she wants and she cries about it, she gets no sympathy from me. She only gets a stern word or two and a time out.
Teaching Sweetie how to properly ask for the things she wants and how to bravely, graciously accept the things she cannot change. Teaching her that tears are not to be ashamed of and are definitely an appropriate way to express all sorts of emotions. But there is a time and place for everything. Tears cannot, and should not, solve all problems.
May I be able to teach her how to communicate properly and express her emotions and desires in acceptable ways.
May I raise a happy, healthy, well-adjusted daughter.
May we all experience many more tears of joy and happiness in our lives than tears of sadness, pain and frustration.
This is my wish for my daughter, for my family... and for the world.