Ah, the amazing things that our children do for us. Sometimes it’s teaching us something completely new about ourselves, sometimes it’s allowing us to remember something about ourselves that we had forgotten, sometimes it’s freeing us to try something we would never have tried before, and sometimes it’s letting us embrace an aspect of ourselves that we didn’t realise we hadn’t understood or appreciated before.
I am a complete and utter blubberer. Always have been, always will be. I cry when I’m happy, cry when I’m sad, cry when I’m angry, cry when I’m grateful. I cry at movies, I cry at weddings and funerals, I cry at TV advertisements, I cry when children completely unrelated to me are upset. I cry at others’ misfortune, and I cry at others’ good fortune.
My blubbering was not an aspect of myself that was embraced by my family – I have a very vivid recollection of being told to “stop your bawling” at quite a young age, which kind of says it all. This being despite, or perhaps because, I think that both my parents are repressed blubberers.
Thankfully, this blubberiness of mine would not be repressed, and I have continued to blub freely throughout my life – not always happily, not always appropriately, often to the rolling of eyes from my husband of so many years, but more and more with my own acceptance of this aspect of myself.
Quite recently, my 5 year old has revealed herself to be a bearer of the blubber gene. This is over and above the normal childhood tears and lack of inhibition about them; this is a definite fellow of the free- to-blubber society. First revealed while we were reading a story about the guys in London in the 1970s who bought a lion cub from Harrods, raised it, released it in Africa, and then went back to experience an amazing reunion – very cool (true) story if you haven’t come across it before. I suddenly realised that there were a few sneaky tears sliding down my daughter’s face – oddly enough coinciding with a lump in my own throat, as it was really very moving. This could have been a one-off event, perhaps a consequence of tiredness, but a recent school holiday viewing of Puss in Boots at the Dome also elicited some sneaky tears and a few sobs, so the deal is clinched – I have a fellow blubberer in the house.
I felt amazingly elated that I now get to share my life with a kindred spirit, someone else who will smile through tears during cheesy movies or soppy TV ads, someone with whom I can share a tissue box with at weddings and funerals, someone with whom I can celebrate the power of a good blub. I am so proud of my super-blubberer, and teaching her to enjoy being a blubberer too.