The original phase of our lives, the one where we’re at home with our parents and siblings, is also the shortest phase. But what it lacks in time, it makes up for in significance. It can be the most formative, as it is the foundation for who we become and grow to be.
For example, I was, and still am, a cryer.
I remember one time overhearing one of my older sisters describing each of our siblings to her friend on the phone. When she got to me, this is what she said: “And my sister Elizabeth is cool but she will randomly go into her room and cry once a month.”
At the time, I was embarrassed by this but looking back, she was absolutely right. I would go into my room, maybe once a month or more, and just cry. I would cry for real things but often, for no reason at all. I don’t know if it was just a good release or if it was just a part of puberty or if, because I was just a kid, I didn’t have the words for everything I was feeling so I just cried instead.
Of course, I’ve grown out of this and I have the words now and with a close knit family and a husband, I never have to cry by myself over anything. But there are still those things, no matter how much I grow or how well I express myself, that always make me cry. And sometimes it is just a good release. And sometimes I don’t have the words. But I do have a list.
- Sally Field’s monologue at the end of Steel Magnolias
- Surprise reunion videos (army wives/husbands coming home, athletes surprised with scholarships, etc)
- Life is Beautiful
- When my family goes around the table and we all say what we’re grateful for at Thanksgiving
- Sleep training
- Jeffrey R. Holland bearing his testimony
- Seeing my baby for the first time (I’m two for two)
- Failing the glucose test (I’m two for two on this one also)
- Big changes
- Saying goodbye to my parents after a holiday
- When Anne Hathaway sings “I Dreamed a Dream” in Les Miserables
- My birthday
I really don’t feel sad looking at this list. Honestly, it was kind of fun to think about it. It makes me wonder what be on other people’s lists and if there’s any crossover. (I can’t be the only one who cries on my birthday, right?) What does this list say about me? I guess that I’m sensitive but I knew that already. I think about what my sister said, how I would randomly go into my room and cry. And it probably did seem out of the blue to her, because I wouldn’t show I was upset as I went in and I wouldn’t tell anyone about it when I walked out. I had no idea anyone noticed. I said earlier that I never cry alone anymore but in a way, I never really cried alone when I was younger, either. And I didn’t need to hide. I’m definitely not hiding now.