Our Ellie is the calmest, most relaxed toddler ever. She is agreeable, flexible, rarely in a bad mood.
But sometimes she just wakes up from her nap and needs to cry. Nothing is wrong. She isn’t hungry, she isn’t thirsty. She is just plain cranky.
I let her cry. I hold her, we rock, but I don’t talk, I don’t try to distract her or talk her out of it. I let her go. She cries and squirms and pushes my arms away, and cries some more.
Eventually, she is all cried out. We get ourselves a snack, and all is well.
I’m realizing that we all need those moments.
In fact, I need one right now.
See, Ellie spent last night with us, for the first time. It was wonderful. But. Well. She is used to sleeping in bed with her parents, so she slept between Papa and I. I woke up every ten minutes with a head on my belly, a foot up my nose, a hand on my face.
I’m tired. That makes me weepy.
And we spent all day yesterday with our son Matt and his lovely girlfriend Melanie. Working in the yard, breaking up brush and burning it and raking. They did most of the work, but I still did a lot more physical labor than usual. I kind of hurt a lot.
That always makes me weepy.
We thought that Ellie’s parents would be coming over early this morning to have a big breakfast and then take her home. But her Momma, my daughter Kate, didn’t feel great, and wanted to rest up at home.
I spent the day playing with Ellie, cleaning up a bit, pacing, wringing my hands, worrying about my girl and the baby.
Repressed emotion always makes me weepy.
And today is Boston’s annual “Walk For Hunger” put on by Project Bread. People who want to help bring food to the hungry sign up to walk, get donors, then walk a long 20 miles through the beautiful city of Boston.
The first time I did the Walk, my son Matt came with me. He was about 12. I was 47. My parents were in their late 60’s. My sister and her husband walked. I was so proud of myself and of my son.
Mostly, though, I was moved by the deep conversation that my Dad and my boy had as we walked along the Charles River. I’ll never forget walking behind them, and just listening to the back and forth, the wise older voice and the curious young one. Both so familiar and so loved.
I can’t handle the 20 miles anymore, so I wasn’t there. But my sister, Liz, was. She walked, as she has for years. She walked in memory of her husband, Ed, and of our Dad. They were buddies. We miss them both.
I looked at Liz’s pictures on Facebook. I wished I could have been there to walk. For her. With her. For Dad and Ed.
I was so nostalgic. And that always makes me weepy.
I’m going to bed early tonight. I plan to bring my well worn copy of the Lord Of The Rings. I’ll flip to the end, when the two heroes leave this world to find solace “In the West.”
It invariably makes me sob.
And as Ellie has shown me, sometimes you just really need a good, long, cleansing cry.