My son does not feel this way about crying. Crying for him, up until now, has been just another way of talking, an expression, a necessity, an activity that flows into and out of other activities.
I have marvelled at his openness.
The other day he fell on a patch of ice in the school yard and bumped his head.
When I saw him at the end of the day, I asked about it.
"I fell. It hurt."
Were you upset? (i.e. did you cry?)
"No, I wanted to, but someone said I shouldn't because then I would be a crybaby."
Something inside me sunk a little.
I have heard many men say that the last time they cried was when they were 7.
The last time I cried was earlier this morning when I was watching Last Tango in Halifax (great show!)
As reluctant as I was to cry in front of others as a child, now I participate in what I like to call "maintenance crying". Every once in a while, I cry, like I sweat, to let out a little excess frustration, feelings, whatever.
My son continued..."when we get home, can I cry then? I DID fall, I think I do need to cry."
I realized that maybe my son was being pressured to shut off the pathway to maintenance crying and
was about to accumulate a crying debt.
In his question, I heard a hint of alarm.
Are all these times I am not permitted to cry going to add up?
I am owed a cry, don't you think?