I raise girls. Crying, tantrums and emotional storms are a part of the landscape. Girls in their teens are by nature living on the brink of constant hysteria, be it of the happy kind (OhMerGerrrddd he LOOKED at me!!) to the angry kind (OhMerGerrddd SHE looked at HIM!) to the my-life-is-over kind (fill in the blank here with any and all imaginable apparently irreversible crises). The feelings are real, and the intensity frightening, however laughable the circumstances appear to the long-suffering adult helping them deal with the crisis du jour. But in my experience, girls thirteen and up tend to keep their true sadness to themselves. They share some of it with peers, and display symptoms of it to their parents, but the real crying occurs in the lonely privacy of their rooms, in the dark of night, alone. I know this. I was a girl once.
So when a girl cries in front of me, I take it seriously. Be it tears of rage and frustration or pure grief, my girls have gifted me with the privelege of holding on - holding them up, holding them back, holding their hearts. From skinned knees to baby blues, tears matter, and my job is to be there when they let me.
Babygirl came downstairs this morning, wearing (the G-d freaking I HATE them) sunglasses. I was focused on household budget, paying bills, writing checks, a letter to one of our Compassion kids, the usual. But there was something about the set of her shoulders that caught my attention. Slumped. Sad. Hopeless. Even without being able to see her eyes, I knew she had descended to some place that needed rescue.
Paperwork be damned. I pulled her to a couch and just held her. We cried together for amost fifteen minutes, letting out fear, rage, and sheer discouragement. She said absolutely nothing. And then she went back to bed.
Lord, please. Please.