Lately I’ve noticed that I often tear up when confronted with an emotional situation. Not necessarily crying with tears streaming down my cheeks, but rather the typical swelling of the eyes and the need to wipe them on my sleeve.
As a typical guy, I still try to hold these types of displays in check. In the past, I’ve certainly gone out of my way to tease those who couldn’t. However, the tides, as they say, are turning.
It happens when I’m reading a story or watching a video of a soldier returning home from Iraq or Afghanistan surprising their kids at school. Or a birthday party when the child uses their once-a-year wish for daddy or mommy to be safe. Or more recently, seeing little kids sit on Santa’s lap wanting nothing more than having mommy or daddy home for Christmas – as they hide behind Santa’s display waiting for the right moment to come out.
Somehow it happens as I’m watching TV or reading a book and some emotional storyline is playing itself out. (I dare you to read “Lone Survivor” by Marcus Luttrell or “SEAL of Honor” by Gary Williams and not become emotional).
Have you ever watched the segment on Good Morning America called “Your Three Words”? That gets me just about every time as well. “My Cancer Gone.”
And finally, it happens as I put the twins down at night, wish them good dreams, and tell them that I love them. Many times I have little flashbacks to when they were born so tiny and premature yet am incredibly proud with how far they’ve come.
Maybe it’s all a result of getting older and understanding that emotional barriers simply break down over time. Perhaps, deep down in my psyche, there’s a small reminder of my own mortality and the short time we truly have on this spinning galactic space rock.
To be able to experience such an ever widening range of emotions – happy, sad, sentimental, what have you – has added to the growth of myself as an individual, husband, father and as a man. It’s a good thing and one that I look forward to broadening.
Oh sure, I’ll still probably continue tease people when it happens to them but inside I’ll know and understand. And who knows? Maybe someday I’ll even cry a long…
Any man who doesn’t cry scares me a little bit. ~ General H. Norman Schwarzkopf