My kids and I have logged in more hours at the public library than should be acceptable to frequent an establishment...especially when it's free. The only other spots we may traverse more are the pool and our local Target store.
They are voracious readers and have made it their mission to take on the Summer Reading Program with a dedication that is unparalleled.
So yesterday, we got a new crop of books and poured over them. Gulping ice cream at the kitchen table, we collectively read a book entitled, "Why Do You Cry?" about a young rabbit turning five years old who's convinced that because of his new age...he no longer needs to cry. To commemorate the occasion, he decides to host a birthday party, but will only invite friends who are old enough or mature enough to no longer cry.
The squirrel politely declines his invite and tells rabbit that sometimes other animals hurt his feelings and he can't help but shed a tear.
The cat cries out in sadness and shares that the shadows still spook him and he cries out of fear.
The horse confesses that he can't join the merry bunch because sometimes he just doesn't feel good about himself and has to have a good pity party.
Discouraged and alone, the rabbit tells his mama that the party is going to be small as in just him and his mother.
Finally, in a crushing blow, his mother says that she too has to sit this one out. At any given moment, she can cry happy tears watching rabbit and his brothers and sisters grow up. She can cry tears of frustration when life just doesn't seem to be going her way and she can cry tears of sadness when it's all just too much.
It's at this moment that rabbit begins to cry and realizes that its okay.
Later that night after dinner and the dishes, I headed out by myself and started to cry in the car. I didn't know what to attribute it to and in fact the more that I tried to rationalize it, the more the flood gate of tears came.
Sometimes, we just need to cry. To scream. To stand in fear. To cower with doubt. To be paralyzed in the certainty that it won't work out. To be overjoyed by a milestone that would never come. To be blown away in utter surprise at a person or an event. To know that the boogie man is really just in our head. To feel sorry for ourselves. To be ecstatic that we dodged a bullet. To be hopeful. To feel hopeless. And then, to let it go and cry.
It feels good. It's a natural release. And it doesn't go away the older we become. Hopefully, age encourages us to access it more frequently, recognizing that we can't control everything. In fact, we can't control much. But a good cry makes the world feel right again.