Why Is Daddy Crying

LoVE   Dot. Dot .dot .I don’t suffer from Writer’s Block…ever. Words are my friends and family. Really, the words that I write here are often effortless and shared with ease. Most of the time the quality of my work is solid but it would be untrue for me to say that it never falls short of the mark. But since I like to use the blog as a cyber sandbox I rarely edit or modify these posts.

Some might say that is a mistake, especially since the blog has led to many freelance writing jobs. Some might say that I tarnish my reputation and damage my online resume by not taking care to cull the weaker posts from the field. But I don’t work that way. I don’t hide my blemishes from me which means that I don’t hide them from you. Those posts help me strengthen and improve my skills so I prefer to keep them where they are easily accessible. Besides it feels more authentic to me.

It is also tied into why I sometimes like to dig through the archives here. Seven years of posting has provided a treasure chest of material to read. Some of it is quite good and some of it is awful, dreadfully bad. Today I find myself revisiting the topic of men and emotions- more specifically whether men cry or not.

Earlier this week the dark haired beauty wandered into my bedroom and was shocked by what she thought she saw. I had just using some eye drops and had accidentally squeezed too hard on the bottle sending a stream of it rushing down my cheeks. Since she walked in prior to my wiping my face she grew quite concerned and asked me why I was crying. I assured her that I wasn’t crying but she decided that I was lying about it and told me not to be embarrassed.

She hasn’t ever read The Tears That Do not Fall so she is unfamiliar with that story. Maybe she remembered the conversation we had here or maybe not. I can say that some things have changed there somewhat, but not so much that she didn’t press me on this.

I looked down at her and thanked for her concern and received a very stern lecture about being honest. I suppose that it wasn’t fair of me, but I couldn’t help laughing. She was very sweet and I am more than appreciative of her concern about my welfare. So I thanked her again and told her not to worry. Moments later I heard her whispering to her brother, “daddy’s crying.” And then I learned that in his old age he is becoming far more clever as he made a point to tell her to close the door so that I couldn’t hear them speaking.

For a moment I remained seated on my bed and then I decided that I wanted to know more about their discussion. Slowly I tiptoed over towards the bedroom door only to hear my son say, ” we can hear you dad.”

Damn, the little man has learned more of my tricks than I had realized. That is the sort of thing that makes you smile with pride and grimace with frustration. I am not an eavesdropper. I don’t go snooping around but I do pay attention to what they do/say. I am dad and that is part of my job. Really, if I emailed you the job description you would see it listed there.

But I do wonder about this a bit. I am not a ‘cryer.’ It is not something that people see with me. I get sad and upset like everyone else. I just don’t shed tears easily. But what I wonder a bit is what sort of impact that has on the children, especially my son. I am very affectionate with them. I don’t run around telling him to ‘man up’ or try to make crying seem weak.  But then again there have been times where I told him that life isn’t fair and to just ‘suck it up.’ So I wonder if I am sending mixed messages. My gut says no, but sometimes I am wrong.

Of course that is rare and infrequent, but it does happen every now and then.  I wonder though what would happen if they saw me cry. Would it scare them because it is so out of character or would they just take it in stride. Have to think about it a bit.

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Comments

  1. Yoiks; not only am I crier I think it’s getting worse. My 102 yr old grandmother passed away; a long on rich life indeed, and I cried like a baby at her funeral.

    I had to take our little Maltese to the vet to be put down and yep, I cried like a baby.

    I can’t help it; I’m the sensitive one. The good thing is I don’t think my boys have seen me cry more than once. My youngest is more like me and apt to cry but I think my oldest is pretty stoic.

    And I won’t even go into the movies; there is many a scene I just look away and start thinking of something else.

    Hmmm, what are you gonna do, huh?

    BTW – how can 6′ 10″ be stealth anyway?

    • @a76049f6a32a1e633a732b81bafb98c9:disqus In the time since the first iteration of this post things have ‘loosened’ up a bit and I have shed a tear or two. The lack thereof isn’t a lack of sensitivity- just express it differently I guess.

      102? That is very cool. We should all live so long. When my son was born he had five great grandparents. 10.5 years later he is down to one, but we are all grateful.

      Grandpa is 97 and the kids keep asking him to try for 100. He thinks it is funny. Now I think that I am going to request that he strive for 110.

      P.S. 6’10 only works with a full blown Jewfro. Otherwise I am a foot shorter. 😉

  2. Yoiks; not only am I crier I think it’s getting worse. My 102 yr old grandmother passed away; a long on rich life indeed, and I cried like a baby at her funeral.

    I had to take our little Maltese to the vet to be put down and yep, I cried like a baby.

    I can’t help it; I’m the sensitive one. The good thing is I don’t think my boys have seen me cry more than once. My youngest is more like me and apt to cry but I think my oldest is pretty stoic.

    And I won’t even go into the movies; there is many a scene I just look away and start thinking of something else.

    Hmmm, what are you gonna do, huh?

    BTW – how can 6′ 10″ be stealth anyway?

    • @a76049f6a32a1e633a732b81bafb98c9:disqus In the time since the first iteration of this post things have ‘loosened’ up a bit and I have shed a tear or two. The lack thereof isn’t a lack of sensitivity- just express it differently I guess.

      102? That is very cool. We should all live so long. When my son was born he had five great grandparents. 10.5 years later he is down to one, but we are all grateful.

      Grandpa is 97 and the kids keep asking him to try for 100. He thinks it is funny. Now I think that I am going to request that he strive for 110.

      P.S. 6’10 only works with a full blown Jewfro. Otherwise I am a foot shorter. 😉

  3. You do you – ya know? You cry when and if you want to, and if you don’t you don’t. I would say that the first time I even heard a sniffle from my father was when my grandmother (his MIL) passed away. The next time would be when he lost his mom. More recently losing his sister and a dear friend of the family showed some semblance of tears. This didn’t make him less loving, or emotional, or anything along those lines, it just made him my dad. My mom and I (and my brother, if I’m being honest) cry enough for all of us. It did, however, make it seem more intense when I did see him cry. It hurt me more that I couldn’t fix things. My mom has obviously seen him cry more – but that has been more as we’re adults and I am not there to witness it. I am glad he has that outlet and has loosened up some and let the tears flow, because I know he needs/can use that. But it doesn’t mean that much that he didn’t do it when we were growing up.  For us, for our family. So for you – it’s what works for yours and what you’re comfortable with. And now that I wrote my own novel in response to your post, I’m gonna go. 😉

    • @ace1028:disqus   It hurt me more that I couldn’t fix things
      I can appreciate that. That day that my daughter thought I was crying was hard for her. I think it took a bit for her to believe that I wasn’t. But I was very grateful for her concern and compassion.

      And I am in agreement about people doing what works for them. It is important.

      • Agreed. Thanks for the thoughtful remarks in response to my comment. (And I’m digging around for an email to thank you for commenting in my ‘hood, as well!) Your children sound wonderful and quite in tune to you and lots around them. ;) 

  4. You do you – ya know? You cry when and if you want to, and if you don’t you don’t. I would say that the first time I even heard a sniffle from my father was when my grandmother (his MIL) passed away. The next time would be when he lost his mom. More recently losing his sister and a dear friend of the family showed some semblance of tears. This didn’t make him less loving, or emotional, or anything along those lines, it just made him my dad. My mom and I (and my brother, if I’m being honest) cry enough for all of us. It did, however, make it seem more intense when I did see him cry. It hurt me more that I couldn’t fix things. My mom has obviously seen him cry more – but that has been more as we’re adults and I am not there to witness it. I am glad he has that outlet and has loosened up some and let the tears flow, because I know he needs/can use that. But it doesn’t mean that much that he didn’t do it when we were growing up.  For us, for our family. So for you – it’s what works for yours and what you’re comfortable with. And now that I wrote my own novel in response to your post, I’m gonna go. 😉

    • @ace1028:disqus   It hurt me more that I couldn’t fix things
      I can appreciate that. That day that my daughter thought I was crying was hard for her. I think it took a bit for her to believe that I wasn’t. But I was very grateful for her concern and compassion.

      And I am in agreement about people doing what works for them. It is important.

      • Agreed. Thanks for the thoughtful remarks in response to my comment. (And I’m digging around for an email to thank you for commenting in my ‘hood, as well!) Your children sound wonderful and quite in tune to you and lots around them. ;) 

  5. im glad you wrote about this interaction, there really are things to consider about what we are teaching our children through the emotions they see us share. Stan’s comment below was fantastic and had a lot of good thoughts too.

  6. im glad you wrote about this interaction, there really are things to consider about what we are teaching our children through the emotions they see us share. Stan’s comment below was fantastic and had a lot of good thoughts too.

  7. KnoxvilleRob says

    I think showing some emotion on occasion is fine. Along as you show love, discipline and the other human traits the rest is up to the for sorting out into opinions. They learn most when you’re not teaching them.

  8. KnoxvilleRob says

    I think showing some emotion on occasion is fine. Along as you show love, discipline and the other human traits the rest is up to the for sorting out into opinions. They learn most when you’re not teaching them.

  9. Tessa aka Mama Apples says

    You know, I can remember to this day, the first time I saw my father cry.

  10. Tessa aka Mama Apples says

    You know, I can remember to this day, the first time I saw my father cry.

  11. I hate to cry around kids and I rarely do it but something tells me it may be a good idea to see us cry now and then. Particularly how we handle what made us cry in the first place.

  12. I hate to cry around kids and I rarely do it but something tells me it may be a good idea to see us cry now and then. Particularly how we handle what made us cry in the first place.

  13. I’d like to think that I have some discipline when it comes to tears of bitter disappointment, disillusionment, and overwhelming exasperation. It can take a liter or more of Jack Daniels, Johnny Walker Blue Label, or hand-crafted Romanian moonshine (or all of the above) to open those spill gates. And I do use a bottle (or more) to open the spill gates from time to time. To prevent the dam from breaking.

    On very rare occasions, of course, I don’t need any help from Tennessee or any bottle. I am not too proud that I can not admit (temporary) defeat and failure. I am not a force of nature.

    Unbid tears of compassion, empathy, and joy can stream down my face in public. I won’t even try to hide them. Because there is great strength, love, and humanity in such tears.

    My son has seen me cry both kinds of tears but never the drinking. I’ll introduce him to that when the time comes for him to open the spill gates. And it will come.

    He has heard me shout in anger and joy.

    He has seen me shatter a shatter-proof window on the driver’s side of a BMW with my fist. One blow. After I ripped off the side view mirror. And I am not a strong man! Nor a trained and combat-ready warrior. But I am focused and a daddy. And, perhaps, a warrior in spirit.

    The car almost hit us on a crosswalk. The right of way was ours. The driver’s mistake was to stop after I dented the passing car with my fist.

    He’s seen me do gentle things too. The ratio of gentle things to violent things is about 100:1.

    I’m good with all that he has seen of me. I am human. SO is he. Yes, I believe we must pursue temperance and self-control but not to the exclusion of our humanity, hope, dignity, safety, and humility – not to mention the wider emotional experience that comes with happiness, despair, and everything in between.

    Maybe, I’m doing it wrong. I’m just doing what feels right to me. Of course, there is much thought and reflection in those feelings.

    But the great dilemma for me is what I will tell him about Santa Claus. [grin] Because the last thing I want to do is lie to my son or break his little heart.

    • @faryna:disqus Santa was easy for me. I told my kids about him when they were young and made sure that they wouldn’t run tell everyone else.

      Since he wasn’t ever going to visit us it made it easier to let them know why.

      I think that what you have said makes a lot of sense. When our children see all sides of us it helps make things seem more natural and that is good.

      They shouldn’t feel stifled or afraid to share their emotions.

  14. I’d like to think that I have some discipline when it comes to tears of bitter disappointment, disillusionment, and overwhelming exasperation. It can take a liter or more of Jack Daniels, Johnny Walker Blue Label, or hand-crafted Romanian moonshine (or all of the above) to open those spill gates. And I do use a bottle (or more) to open the spill gates from time to time. To prevent the dam from breaking.

    On very rare occasions, of course, I don’t need any help from Tennessee or any bottle. I am not to proud to admit defeat and failure. I am not a force of nature.

    Unbid tears of compassion, empathy, and joy can stream down my face in public. I won’t even try to hide them. Because there is great strength and humanity in such tears.

    My son has seen me cry both kinds of tears. He has heard me shout in anger and joy.

    He has seen me shatter a shatter-proof window on the driver’s side of a BMW with my fist. One blow. After I ripped off the side view mirror. And I am not a strong man! Nor a warrior. But I am focused and a daddy. The car almost hit us on a crosswalk. The right of way was ours. The driver’s mistake was to stop after I dented the passing car with my fist.

    He’s seen me do gentle things too.

    I’m good with all that he has seen of me. We are human. Yes, I believe we must pursue temperance and self-control but not to the exclusion of our humanity in it’s humility and emotional experience.

    • @faryna:disqus Santa was easy for me. I told my kids about him when they were young and made sure that they wouldn’t run tell everyone else.

      Since he wasn’t ever going to visit us it made it easier to let them know why.

      I think that what you have said makes a lot of sense. When our children see all sides of us it helps make things seem more natural and that is good.

      They shouldn’t feel stifled or afraid to share their emotions.

  15. I think the most important thing is to be the real you with your kids. If you cry, you cry. If they ask, you tell them why. If you don’t cry, you don’t cry. I went through quite a bit of turmoil in my life, and I can say from experience that if you try to hide your emotions, kids will conjure up some crazy ideas. And you have to let kids be who they are too. They need guidance to know when it’s OK to cry and when it’s better to save the tears for a private moment. Since my Dad died in 2008, I pretty much cry a little at least once a day, but that’s who I am. But when my nephews fall down and start screaming, I tend to scoop them up and say, “You’re OK buddy, let’s keep playing.’

    • I think it’s always important to “be real”. Kids are really smart: they figure things out way faster than we think they will, and if there’s a void in their understanding, they’ll fill it with their own thoughts and perceptions.

      Better to “be real”..the good, the bad, and the ugly.  As you said Jack about your writing: You don’t hide your blemishes in your writing.  I don’t think we should hide our “real” selves from anyone…kids included. (Proviso: unless those things are illegal, immoral or dangerous, that is! Kids don’t need to be exposed to those things. But no one here would need to be concerned about that, right? Right!  As Bill would say: just sayin’…)

      • @kaarinadillabough:disqus I think that my children know me pretty well. There are parts and pieces that they don’t see but some of that is stuff that they don’t need to know about.

        I try to let them be kids for as long as possible and reasonable. I think that you are correct about the need to try and fill in the gaps in some areas. I don’t wan’t them to worry about some things the way that I do. They don’t have the benefit of life experience to provide the same confidence that hard times pass.

        • I think your statement “I try to let them be kids for as long as possible and reasonable” should be a plaque in every home.  We’re forcing our kids today to grow up too quickly.  And although I think we should be “real” with them, I temper that with good judgement about what they’re ready to understand.

          Run, jump, skip, play, laugh…that’s what we should encourage in our kids…and not such a bad idea for ourselves too.  Cheers!  Kaarina

          • @kaarinadillabough:disqus Somewhere in the archives here is a post I wrote about not being a friend to my children. I am their father. When they get to be adults we can be friends, but until that happens there is a necessary division.

            They don’t need to know everything I know or to be informed about all that worries me. That is my job and I am happy to hold on to it.

            Really, the childhood thing is something that I hold onto because it is so short. Why rob them of something that is so special.

            Time will take it- no need to rush.

    • @marianneworley:disqus I agree with that. The lack of tears isn’t me trying to be tough or trying to teach them to be tough. They know me well enough to know what I am feeling. And I am consistent in helping them understand that it is ok to feel something other than happiness. 

      Makes me crazy when people never show anything but a smile. No one is happy all of the time.

  16. I think the most important thing is to be the real you with your kids. If you cry, you cry. If they ask, you tell them why. If you don’t cry, you don’t cry. I went through quite a bit of turmoil in my life, and I can say from experience that if you try to hide your emotions, kids will conjure up some crazy ideas. And you have to let kids be who they are too. They need guidance to know when it’s OK to cry and when it’s better to save the tears for a private moment. Since my Dad died in 2008, I pretty much cry a little at least once a day, but that’s who I am. But when my nephews fall down and start screaming, I tend to scoop them up and say, “You’re OK buddy, let’s keep playing.’

    • I think it’s always important to “be real”. Kids are really smart: they figure things out way faster than we think they will, and if there’s a void in their understanding, they’ll fill it with their own thoughts and perceptions.

      Better to “be real”..the good, the bad, and the ugly.  As you said Jack about your writing: You don’t hide your blemishes in your writing.  I don’t think we should hide our “real” selves from anyone…kids included. (Proviso: unless those things are illegal, immoral or dangerous, that is! Kids don’t need to be exposed to those things. But no one here would need to be concerned about that, right? Right!  As Bill would say: just sayin’…)

      • @kaarinadillabough:disqus I think that my children know me pretty well. There are parts and pieces that they don’t see but some of that is stuff that they don’t need to know about.

        I try to let them be kids for as long as possible and reasonable. I think that you are correct about the need to try and fill in the gaps in some areas. I don’t wan’t them to worry about some things the way that I do. They don’t have the benefit of life experience to provide the same confidence that hard times pass.

        • I think your statement “I try to let them be kids for as long as possible and reasonable” should be a plaque in every home.  We’re forcing our kids today to grow up too quickly.  And although I think we should be “real” with them, I temper that with good judgement about what they’re ready to understand.

          Run, jump, skip, play, laugh…that’s what we should encourage in our kids…and not such a bad idea for ourselves too.  Cheers!  Kaarina

          • @kaarinadillabough:disqus Somewhere in the archives here is a post I wrote about not being a friend to my children. I am their father. When they get to be adults we can be friends, but until that happens there is a necessary division.

            They don’t need to know everything I know or to be informed about all that worries me. That is my job and I am happy to hold on to it.

            Really, the childhood thing is something that I hold onto because it is so short. Why rob them of something that is so special.

            Time will take it- no need to rush.

    • @marianneworley:disqus I agree with that. The lack of tears isn’t me trying to be tough or trying to teach them to be tough. They know me well enough to know what I am feeling. And I am consistent in helping them understand that it is ok to feel something other than happiness. 

      Makes me crazy when people never show anything but a smile. No one is happy all of the time.

  17. I’m not a crier either.  I think the last time I cried was in 2007 when I fell from a horse, broke a rib, then learned that my dog had just died.  But that was a really crappy day.   Anything on TV that has an animal in jeopardy will get to me and I have to change the channel really fast because I was an “Old Yeller” victim as a child.   By and large, I think “life’s not fair, suck it up” is pretty darn good advice.  

  18. I’m not a crier either.  I think the last time I cried was in 2007 when I fell from a horse, broke a rib, then learned that my dog had just died.  But that was a really crappy day.   Anything on TV that has an animal in jeopardy will get to me and I have to change the channel really fast because I was an “Old Yeller” victim as a child.   By and large, I think “life’s not fair, suck it up” is pretty darn good advice.  

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